Perkins sidelined with knee injury

Updated: June 17, 2010, 10:53 AM ET
By Chris Forsberg | ESPNBoston.com

LOS ANGELES -- Boston Celtics center Kendrick Perkins told reporters at Wednesday's media session that he tore two ligaments in his right knee in Tuesday's NBA Finals Game 6 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers and will be sidelined for Thursday's decisive Game 7.

[+] EnlargeKendrick Perkins
AP Photo/Reed SaxonKendrick Perkins, who will miss Game 7 of the NBA Finals after tearing two ligaments in his right knee during Tuesday's Game 6, watches his teammates practice Wednesday.

Perkins, arriving at the courtside podium on crutches with bandages around his knee, revealed he tore the medial collateral and posterior cruciate ligaments. He underwent X-rays on the knee Tuesday night and was informed of the severity of the injury by team trainer Ed Lacerte on Wednesday morning.

He will undergo an MRI on Friday in Boston to further assess the damage.

"Physically, I'm in pain," Perkins said. "I hurt my knee pretty badly. I'm out for tomorrow. There's nothing I could do about it. It's a torn MCL and torn PCL, so I gotta watch from the sideline."

Perkins landed awkwardly trying to haul in an offensive rebound midway through the first quarter of Game 6 and suffered what was originally diagnosed as a knee sprain.

"I knew something was wrong," Perkins said. "I didn't know exactly what it was, but I couldn't get up on my own. I couldn't walk. My whole leg was hurting, and the back of my knee was in pain. I heard something pop, but I didn't know what it was. It was just painful."

Perkins wasn't under any obligation to handle media responsibilities Wednesday, but he said he wanted to address his health and be around his teammates.

"It's the Finals, it's the last practice of the season, the last game of the season," Perkins said. "My teammates, my coaches, I wanted to be around these guys, especially after a tough loss like last night. ... You don't want to be home all day by yourself. When we lose, we always say, 'Get to the locker room,' we feel a lot better when we're around each other."

Celtics coach Doc Rivers tried to be a bit more coy in his confab with the media, revealing that Perkins was out but downplaying the severity of the injury.

"It's a multiple ligament sprain," Rivers said. "We're not going to do an MRI until we get back because once they did the tests that they did -- I don't know what tests they did, honestly. Once they did the tests that they did do and they realized he couldn't play tomorrow, there was no reason to send him to an MRI, too. That'll come, and then we'll make a determination what we have to do."

Rivers said he'd wait until game day to announce whether Rasheed Wallace or Glen Davis would start. He did suggest that Brian Scalabrine will be activated in Perkins' place.

"Listen, we're going to do whatever it takes to win," Rivers said. "Scalabrine can spread the floor for us. He can do things for us. There's a lot of options for us. They may not look like there's a lot, but there's more than you'd think in some of the rotations or lineups that we can create, that we may have to create. We're going to work on some of those today."

Captain Paul Pierce admitted the Celtics knew Tuesday night that Perkins likely would be out Thursday.

"We knew that last night, but hey, it's unfortunate that we lose one of our guys who have been so big for us in the playoffs and in this series, especially with his strength and his lift," Pierce said. "But that means other guys got to be ready to step up. We've got Big Baby, we've got Rasheed, and if possible we've got Shelden Williams. We've got guys capable of coming in there. All we ask is one game as hard as you can go for tomorrow. We have guys that can fill in and get the job done."

Perkins admitted he's hurt more mentally than physically by being on the sideline. Lacerte told him that if the injury occurred in December, he'd likely have missed the rest of the season, which suggests that Perkins is likely set to miss the start of the 2010-11 season as he rehabs.

"If that's what I gotta do to get better, that's what I'm going to have to do," he said. "Hopefully it don't have to be that way. If it do, there isn't anything else I can do about it."

Perkins stressed that he didn't want to be the focus of attention, especially because his teammates have a title to win Thursday.

"It's hard because, last night, my teammates, the whole Celtics organization was great in supporting me," Perkins said. "But it's hard because you got a lot of people asking me, 'How you feeling?' and saying, 'Get better,' things like that. At the same time, it's not about me. We're trying to win a championship. It's not about me. And I don't want the focus to be on me -- for my teammates.

"I don't want nobody feeling sorry for anything like that. We got a game to win. I want them to stay focused. I'm going to be all right. It's an important game. I appreciate my teammates and coaches that they're concerned. But it's not about me. It's about winning a title."

Chris Forsberg covers the Celtics for ESPNBoston.com.

Chris Forsberg

Celtics reporter, ESPNBoston.com

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