After a nine-game absence with a lower leg injury, Kevin Garnett is back, and he's ready to rejoin the Celtics' starting lineup for Monday night's showdown with the Orlando Magic. And that's not all.
Shaquille O'Neal will also play, having recovered quickly from the adductor strain he suffered Sunday at the Celtics' practice facility. Semih Erden and Marquis Daniels, both injury concerns Sunday, are both good to go as well.
With Garnett back in the starting five, Glen Davis returns to the bench for the first time since Dec. 29. Erden will also be with the second unit, backing up O'Neal.
The Celtics haven't been this strong health-wise since just after Christmas — but remember, having their health on Christmas Day wasn't enough in the C's first meeting with the Magic. Garnett and O'Neal are going up against the game's best big man in Dwight Howard, and they'll need more than just their health. It'll take a big game from Shaq and KG to avenge the Celtics' 86-78 loss from last month.
Here's the lineup card for C's-Magic:
Rajon Rondo, PG
Ray Allen, SG
Paul Pierce, SF
Kevin Garnett, PF
Shaquille O'Neal, C
Jameer Nelson, PG
Jason Richardson, SG
Hedo Turkoglu, SF
Brandon Bass, PF
Dwight Howard, C