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Kendrick Perkins back at perfect time

Center returns to starting lineup right when Celtics need him most

Updated: February 5, 2011, 1:24 AM ET
By Peter May | ESPNBoston.com

BOSTON -- There was Danny Ainge, taking the podium after the game and announcing arthroscopic knee surgery for Jermaine O'Neal. The man they call "J.O." might be back for the playoffs.

There was Kendrick Perkins, standing by his locker after the game, ice bags on both knees after posting a double-double in 32-plus minutes. It was just his sixth game since he returned following major reconstructive knee surgery.

By all accounts, he is back. No qualifier is needed.

It was ...

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