Kevin Garnett’s Rehab ‘Taking a Little Longer’ Than Doc Rivers, Celtics Wanted


Jan 13, 2011

BOSTON — Celtics coach Doc Rivers is as media-savvy as they come. Surely he knew that when he speculated last week that Kevin Garnett would be back Wednesday night, he'd have some explaining to do if he turned out to be wrong.

So when KG failed to meet his original estimate of two weeks out with a lower leg injury, sitting out Wednesday as the Celtics beat the Sacramento Kings at the TD Garden, the coach was quick to assure the media that there was nothing to worry about.
"There's no conspiracy here or anything like that," Rivers said Wednesday night. "He's just taking a little longer than we wanted him to. It's not a big deal."
Garnett wants to play. He's over the minor calf muscle strain he suffered two weeks ago in Detroit, and he's ready to come back and make an impact. But Rivers has had conversations with Celtics trainer Ed Lacerte, and the two have determined that rushing KG back isn't wise. If Wednesday were a playoff game, they agreed, Garnett would have been rushed back — but it wasn't, so the C's forward got a little extra rest whether he wanted it or not.
Garnett is tired of sitting out this point. He missed 13 games last year and 25 the year before with various knee injuries, and he's had it with not being able to take the floor and contribute.
"He's starting to get a little, you know, like Kevin," Rivers said. "With Kevin, because he's so emotional, you just want to make sure he doesn't get down about stuff.
"I'm always concerned with him starting this 'Why's this happening to me?' stuff. You don't want him to go there. Because it's not a bad injury, but he just doesn't like missing games," Rivers added. "I think his goal was to play all 82, and the fact that that's not going to happen pisses him off. That's just who he is. It's a good thing, in the long run."
Rivers doesn't have a set return date in mind for Garnett. Friday against the Bobcats is unlikely — the Celtics have the weekend off after, so Rivers would prefer to simply let Garnett rest the three extra days, then bring him back Monday for the C's showdown with the Orlando Magic.
The wait might be long, but Rivers says the silver lining is that Garnett should be able to trust his body right away when he comes back.
"It's not like it's surgery or anything like that," the coach said. "But we'll see — I haven't seen him enough on the floor to know if that'll be an issue. But if it is, it won't be long, it'll be a game or two or something like that. It's like coming back from an ankle injury — you don't trust it completely at first, but you soon realize you're OK."

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