Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge said during his weekly appearance on Boston sports radio WEEI (93.7 FM) on Thursday that Kevin Garnett is still dealing with the inflammation in his left foot that has caused him to miss the last three games, but that the original estimated two-week absence should be "more than sufficient time" for Garnett's injury to heal.
"Kevin has inflammation in his foot," Ainge told WEEI. "It's much better today than it was yesterday and I think he just could use some rest. On top of that, KG has just little nicks, bumps and bruises, that could use some healing time as well. He's got a sore calf muscle as well. It's just good for him to take some time off and get fresh. But the biggest concern right now is the inflammation in his foot."
The last significant late-season injury for Garnett came during the 2008-2009 season when he injured his knee in a February loss to the Utah Jazz and missed the entire postseason before undergoing surgery. When asked how Garnett's current situation compares to that one, Ainge stressed that surgery is not inevitable with Garnett's current foot inflammation.
"The difference between 2009 and today is Kevin needed surgery in 2009. It was inevitable," Ainge said. "But the thought was that if he gets surgery, he's done for the year, or can he play until the end of the year and then get surgery at the end of the year? And there was hope that that could happen, that he would be able to play. And it was just inevitable surgery. And he wasn't going to damage it anymore, it was a chip or a fragment behind his knee that needed to be removed.
"And so right now that's not the case with KG. I don't think that surgery is inevitable or we need to get through the year and he's going to go in for surgery right after the year. That's the difference between (2009) and now. He has inflammation in the foot. There's soreness, there was swelling -- the swelling is going down -- and we think two weeks is a more than sufficient time for that to heal and we just want him fresh and ready to go."
Pressed if Garnett could play right now if he had to, Ainge said he was unsure, stressing that rest is the best thing for Garnett at this time.
"What we're doing is we're doing what we think is best for KG's long-term health, and what's best for the team," Ainge said. "Usually it goes hand-in-hand, what's best for the player, and his future, is usually what's best for the team as well. But, I don't know if KG could play tonight if tonight was a Game 7 of the NBA Finals. My guess is he probably could. But I don't know how good he would be. He does have a little bit of a limp, but it doesn't matter. Right now it's best for him not to play on it and aggravate it."