Celtics president Danny Ainge made his weekly appearance on WEEI 93.7 , this afternoon and gave the most specific target to date of when the team expects Avery Bradley to make his 2012-13 season debut for the C’s.
“I think our timetable is to get him back probably after the West Coast trip,” Ainge said. “I mean that’s hopeful. I hate doing timetables but we are getting closer and he is looking good, We’d like to get him practicing.”
Ainge is likely referencing the team’s first west coast trip of the season, which follows the team’s Christmas day matchup with the Nets in Brooklyn. Boston will face the LA Clippers, Golden State and Sacramento during the four day swing during the final week of December, before returning back home to face the Memphis Grizzlies on January 2nd.
Bradley also spoke to reporters before last night’s win against Minnesota and appeared optimistic about his progress in his recovery from the multiple shoulder surgeries.
“I feel a lot better, I’m just so excited, I’m getting closer to practice” Bradley explained. “I see my teammates, they can’t wait to have me back. I just have to keep getting stronger, that’s my main thing. Every single day I come in, I see the trainers and have them test me out to see how strong I am. I’m just trying to get better ever single day.”
Ainge addressed the continued chance that Bradley could see game action with the Maine Red Claws before he returns to the NBA hardwood over the next few weeks as well.
“We are contemplating the possibility of rehab games in Portland with the [Red Claws]. Maybe one or two, or maybe none. We’ll be really careful with Avery,” Ainge said.
All in all, with 18 games already played by Boston this year and 12 more looming before the tilt with the Grizzlies, the C’s will have gone through more than one-third of their regular season without the services of the 22-year-old guard. Once he does make it back to action, a myriad of potential “issues” will approach from “Who is Avery best playing with in the backcourt?” to “Does he start right away?”
Those are all concerns Doc Rivers will undoubtably would love to be dealing with as the time approaches. With Jason Terry and Courtney Lee finding their rhythm playing together in the backcourt over the past few games, we may be less than a week away from seeing the league’s deepest backcourt intact for the first time.