Celtics coach Doc Rivers confirmed prior to Wednesday night's game against the Nets that Delonte West would not be returning for the C's final tuneup before the All-Star break, but he wasn't able to explain in great detail.
"I'm not a doctor," he joked. "I didn't make that decision."
The short, unscientific diagnosis: West was planning to return Wednesday after missing 12 weeks with a broken right wrist, but an unfortunate incident at Tuesday's practice set him back another few days.
"He was reaching for the ball and he was going for a steal," Rivers said. "The ball hit his hand. It was just bad timing.
"He just wasn't ready. He got injured in practice, and it was just a freak injury, unfortunately. There was no damage, but it just set him back."
Rivers hadn't been planning to use West extensively against the Nets, but he did want to get the reserve guard 10 or 12 minutes, just to ease him back into game action before the break. Now, West will have to go in ice cold when the C's open their four-game road trip out West next Tuesday.
"There's no timetable," Rivers said of West's return. "The timetable is hopefully Golden State [on Tuesday], but if not, then the next game, or we'll just go game by game."
With West this close to 100 percent, the Celtics are wise to be as cautious as possible. The last thing they want is to reaggravate the injury now.
The good news for the C's is that Nate Robinson is over his bruised knee, so the C's will be well-stocked with backup guards in West's absence. Expect Robinson and Von Wafer to do the bulk of the work backing up Rajon Rondo and Ray Allen on Wednesday night.
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