Pregame notes: Healthy outlook
Rivers: KG has 'outside chance' for return next Friday
While running down potential return dates for the collection of injured players on the Celtics' roster, coach Doc Rivers suggested Kevin Garnett has an "outside chance" of returning next Friday against the Portland Trail Blazers.
"Portland -- there's an outside chance that could be the return game," said Rivers. "Outside chance. There's a chance."
Rivers said, with a day off after a visit to Detroit next Wednesday, the Celtics could potentially get Garnett a day of practice Thursday before bringing him back to game action.
But Rivers stressed that the team would not rush Garnett's return.
"We'll play him when he's ready," said Rivers.
Garnett has been sidelined by a hyperextended right knee after being kicked in his surgically repaired knee against Golden State on Dec. 28. He's missed seven games, but started working out on Monday after a period of inactivity to allow the hyperextension to heal.
Wallace aiming for Monday return
Celtics forward Rasheed Wallace is expected to miss his third straight game Thursday night as he rests an injured left forefoot. Rivers indicated Wallace will aim for a return Monday when the Mavericks visit Boston, thinking that three days off following Thursday's game will aid in Wallace's recovery.
Brian Scalabrine will make his third consecutive start in Wallace's absence.
Daniels could have cast removed within two weeks
After meeting with trainer Ed Lacerte Thursday, Celtics guard Marquis Daniels said he could have his cast off within "a week or two."
Daniels, who upgraded to a sleeker cast on Jan. 6, is expected to shed the current protective brace for a soft cast that will give him more freedom in his recovery.
"I'll get it off in a week or two, maybe run and shoot a little bit, but no passes from [Rajon] Rondo," joked Daniels, who aggravated the injury on a bullet pass from Rondo during a December practice. He was examined by team doctors soon after and a torn ligament in his left thumb was discovered.
Daniels said he remains on pace for a post-All-Star Game return, but noted that it's certainly going to take him some time to get back into the flow of things.
"I've been doing a lot of running, but that means nothing once you get out there and get ready to play in actual games," said Daniels.
Davis has swelling in thumb
Celtics forward Glen "Big Baby" Davis said his surgically-repaired right thumb swelled up after being hit in the fourth quarter of Wednesday's win over the New Jersey Nets.
Despite icing it on the bench during the final moments of that lopsided win and again for much of the day Thursday, he said he's not about to allow the injury to force him to miss any more time. Davis missed the first 27 games of the season after fracturing the thumb in an off-court incident.
"I"m not missing any more games," said Davis. "If it isn't broken, I'm not missing any games."
Davis noted that doctors had told him the bone healed nicely, but that he'd have to deal with aggravations from contact. As Rivers said before Thursday's game, "It's going to be a painful season for him, in some ways, because it's going to hurt like heck any time he gets hit."
Davis said he wished he could be Claire (played by Hayden Panettiere) from the TV show "Heroes."
"You ever see 'Heroes?'" asked Davis. "Claire, she can never die, she heals so fast."
Baby on Rivers' fine: 'I told Doc I'd help him out'
Davis expressed relief that the flagrant foul called against him in Monday's loss to the Hawks had been downgraded, but still felt bad for Rivers, who got ejected for (vehemently) voicing displeasure with the call.
"I'm happy they [downgraded], that's not good for my image," Davis said with a smile. "Me fouling people on purpose -- that was a nice foul. I'm just mad for Doc; he got kicked out of the game."
Informed of the $25,000 fine levied against Rivers, Davis simply shook his head.
"I told Doc I was going to help him out, but I didn't know it was that much," Davis deadpanned. "I already got fined once this year. I can't get fined no more. But whatever helps Doc, that's my man."
Informed that Davis had offered to help pay the fine, Rivers joked in return, "He should; it's Baby's fault."
Austin comes to Boston
Rivers' son Austin, a standout for Winter Park High School in Orlando, was in attendance with his teammates Thursday at the Garden. The basketball team made the trek up north to play in the Hoophall Classic taking place in Springfield this weekend.
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