Unfortunately, he won’t be getting his wish as it’s going to take at least a month for all injuries to heal.
With several players listed on the injury report, the Celtics are struggling to carry their success into the New Year. They may have strung together a 14-game win streak, but it was chock-full of gritty wins by slim margins. The Big Three is still healthy and thriving, but they need their support system to keep the win column ticking in 2011.
When the injured players start to make their returns to the roster, which one will have the greatest impact on the team?
According to Rivers, point guard Rajon Rondo could potentially return for the Celtics’ afternoon matchup with the Hornets on New Year’s Eve. The young All Star has missed just nine games this season, but its clear his presence is sorely missed out on the court. Nate Robinson is an admirable backup, but nothing compares to Rondo’s playmaking abilities for the C’s.
Jermaine O’Neal has two games under his belt after missing six weeks of action with a knee injury, but those two outings haven’t been pretty. His offense isn’t as crucial to the Celtics as his big-man presence down low on defense, but even his post performance is lacking. Hopefully, JO will turn into the center the Celtics need him to be in the near future.
The Celtics have definitely come to realize just how important Delonte West is to their strategy. Though he may be an off-the-bench guy, he’s their best backup option for those games when Rondo needs a breather or replacement. Since falling with a wrist injury on Nov. 24, West has left the Celtics with limited reserves at the point guard position. He’s aiming for an earlier-than-anticipated return in late January, and the Celtics will gladly greet him with open arms.
Kendrick Perkins‘ return will be a sight for sore eyes, especially if the C’s current center corps continues to struggle on the court. It will be a while before Perk is back to full strength, but his presence will definitely boost the team in the right direction. He still has a few weeks to be cleared for work, but Perk’s determination should have an immediate impact when he’s back in Boston.
The Celtics are battling through for the time being, but the upcoming schedule is a tough one and they will need a full-strength squad.
Which returning player will have the greatest impact on the Celtics? Share your thoughts below.
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