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Avery Bradley is followed off the court by Boston's medical staff.The Celtics have been so game-heavy lately, we haven't had a chance to dip into our Celtics Mailbag. Plucking a question off the top to field in the blog. Hop HERE to submit a question:
Q: Is Avery Bradley now considered "injury prone?" -- @jrmpk316 (via Twitter)
A: After Bradley missed Friday's game against the Bulls with a rib injury, we got this question a lot on Twitter and in the mailbag. Bradley has endured his share of maladies as a pro, starting with the ankle injury sustained in a pre-draft workout with the Oklahoma City Thunder that might have contributed to him sliding to the Celtics at No. 19 in the 2010 draft.
Last season Bradley endured the shoulder woes that ultimately ended his season in the playoffs and forced him to have a pair of surgeries this offseason. His rehab caused him to miss the first 30 games this season before returning earlier this month.
Injury prone? That has such a negative connotation. It suggests an inherent fragility. Celtics coach Doc Rivers explained on Friday that Bradley's tenacity on the floor simply leaves him more susceptible to injury than most.
"Avery’s going to be a guy that’s going to miss games here and there, because he plays so hard," said Rivers. "You want him to play that hard, but you have to know that, going into every season, that means he’ll miss some games, because of how hard he plays."
THE AVERY BRADLEY EFFECT
Comparing Boston's defensive numbers before and after the return of Avery Bradley.
Rivers reiterated that stance when asked if Bradley was injury prone on Saturday.
"Well, he just plays hard. Guys like that are going to get injured, and that's fine by me. It really is," said Rivers. "I want him to play the way he plays. He'll probably get better at it as his career goes on and then have less and less. But [Cleveland's Anderson] Varejao gets hurt all the time -- he plays hard. There's a group of guys -- Delonte [West], Kirk Hinrich is one of those guys, he's always in the scrum. But you can't do without those guys either and what they do is really important for your team. So you would never tell them not to."
The Celtics are 6-2 in the eight games that Bradley has played since returning from the shoulder rehab. While X-rays taken on Bradley's ribs Saturday were negative, Rivers listed him as doubtful for Sunday's game in Detroit.