The latest on Shaq’s progress via ESPNBoston.com at today’s practice, where a realistic return date is a little further off than recent sources have indicated according to head coach Doc Rivers:
“[Shaq coming on the road trip is] a possibility, I actually heard that there’s a chance, but I don’t expect it,” Rivers said before Saturday’s practice at the Sports Authority Training Center. “I can tell you I’ve heard different things. I just think that’s too optimistic, in my opinion, just being around the game long enough to know that, when they take the boot off, you usually don’t play a day later. And I don’t see him flying on the plane, getting the boot off — I just think that’s unrealistic.
“There’s a better chance — when do we come home, next Sunday? There’s a better chance there [vs. Detroit] and I actually don’t think that’s realistic. It’s more likely the game after that [vs. Philadelphia]. That would be our target date for Shaq. And I don’t even know if that one is [going to hold firm]. I would say [the optimistic members of the team are] thinking maybe Atlanta [next Friday], maybe the first game back [in Boston]. I think there’s no chance of that.”
A few other quick injury bullets from practice:
* Troy Murphy did not participate and does not expect to travel with the team for the road trip.
* Von Wafer did not practice. He told me before yesterday’s game that he is targeting a return Thursday night against San Antonio.
* Delonte West missed practice to be in Washington DC to have his house arrest lifted after 9 months after the sentencing in his gun possession case. West, who is battling bone chips in his ankle, will rejoin the team in Minnesota on Sunday and is expected to play:
Here a couple quotes from Delonte last night on his ankle problems and the team’s play last night:
“End of the day I keep trying to downplay it, I’ve had a sprained ankle before, it normally take 2, 3 days and your back in action., but their saying I got a chipped bone in there and I think I kind of over did a little bit in practice. Yesterday I was going super hard and the ankle swelled back up on me. I did two hours this morning treatment, I didn’t shoot around before the game. Just two-three hours of treatment just to get ready. I said once I step on the court there is no excuses. I’m still going to play defense, but with my shot I noticed that I was all in the takeoff and the landing. It was throwing my shot off. That last play I felt like I barely left the ground. Predominantly left hand, jumping off my right which is the bad ankle. I don’t know what that was, I closed my eyes for a second though. No excuses. We gave this one away. No offense to them, they played well, but I’m pretty sure they are over there and still can’t believe they won this game. Disappointing how we closed it out, but that’s us.”