Garnett’s injury first flared in a loss in New Orleans on March 20 but he played through discomfort in Dallas on March 22. He said Saturday he was eager to get going again.
“I have some issues with my foot,” explained Garnett. “More from like the motion, if you’re pushing the gas pedal. It’s an issue. If it wasn’t, I wouldn’t be out. But I am getting better. I’m going to practice today and Doc and I will have a conversation and make some decisions for the future.”
Added Garnett: “Everybody is dealing with their different ailments, I’m no different from that. Obviously, as you get older, things tend to linger a little longer. I am getting stronger. I was able to heal up other things that were nagging me. But just my foot is an issue.”
Both Garnett and Rivers stressed the importance of balancing the need to get Garnett some game reps over the final six games of the regular season and making sure he’s healthy enough to dive back in.
“It’s important to get him back on the floor, but if he’s not ready, he’s not ready,” said Rivers. “I don’t know what the number of games is, everybody has their own thing with that, rhythm-wise, each individual player. And I don’t what Kevin’s would be, but I do know he’s been out a while and the playoffs are soon. So the sooner he gets back on the floor, the better. And I would lean towards him, now, once he’s cleared health-wise, it’s probably better for him, even if he can’t play a lot of minutes, to play in games. Because no matter what we do in practice, practice will never duplicate a game. And it’s never going to be the same intensity.”
Garnett has been running and shooting lately, but Saturday would be his first contact activities since the inflammation occurred.
“Obviously, I want to get a rhythm,” said Garnett. “I want to come in and be able to contribute. I want to get as close to 100 percent as I can. I’ve never come into postseason 100 percent, so it’s nothing new. But I do want a rhythm. And these last couple games, obviously, we’re playing for something. We’re trying to get things done as we’re out here playing. It’s pretty much what it is. I don’t want to go into the postseason, have no rhythm. I want to be healthy. That’s my first priority.”
Garnett labeled himself day-to-day.
“If I’m able [to play], if I’m strong enough and I feel like I can contribute, then yeah, other than that — it’s all guts, it’s all grit,” said Garnett. “That’s pretty much how my makeup is. I’ve always been able to put mind over matter with certain things and then when I was unable to do common things like walk or get in my car or drive myself, then obviously that’s an issue. But other than that, I’m used to playing through a lot of different things.”
ESPN Boston – KG returns to practice for C’s
For the first time in eight games, Kevin Garnett has not only returned to practice but has also spoken to the media. These are all signs pointing in the direction to his return to the floor for game action. KG described his foot injury to the media yesterday prior to practice. The Celtics have obviously struggled in his absence, looking disjointed and sluggish overall. The silver lining of the Ticket-less C’s has been the consistently surging play of Jeff Green. Another one could be the surprising play of Shavlik Randolph as a possible big to spell KG in the playoffs for a few minutes. Even Green’s play has been so solid that Garnett went on to say that Green could be one of the greatest players of all time.
That’s clearly a stretch right now, but needing KG back in the lineup is not. KG is absolutely right that he (as well as Paul Pierce) needs to return for the handful of games remaining simply to get a rhythm. The Celtics are limping into the playoffs, not exactly inspiring thoughts of a magical ride through the playoffs. But we’ve been here before with this team, the difference now is that they are well, different. Very different.
There is no Rajon Rondo. There is no home court. There was never truly a long stretch of exceptional play. All there has been is consistently inconsistent play, no matter which version of the 2013 Celtics have taken the floor. But if they have any viable shot at making a run, they absolutely need KG ready. Yesterday’s practice was a solid first step in the right direction and it’s happening just when they need him the most.
Related links: Boston Globe: Garnett returns to practice, could play Sunday | Boston Herald: It’s mind over matter for Kevin Garnett | CSNNE: Garnett on returning from injury: ‘It’s all guts, it’s all grit’ | WEEI: Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce back ta practice, Avery Bradley (collarbone) sits | MWDN: Celtics Saturday practice report: Kevin Garnett talks about injury, returns to floor
The rest of the links:
ESPN Boston: Practice: Bradley (collarbone) sits out | Forget you | Terry diary: Playoffs, LeBron, C’s goals | Boston Globe: Sacramento works to keep Kings (Sunday Notes) | Boston Herald: In Jeff Green’s corner (Sunday Notes) | CSNNE: Doc: Losing teams ‘playing for their careers’ |