- Chris Forsberg, ESPN Staff Writer
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WALTHAM, Mass. -- Boston Celtics big men Kevin Garnett and Kendrick Perkins were back at practice Thursday and both indicated they would be ready to play in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference semifinals against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday.
Garnett, who missed practice Wednesday with a mid-foot strain, surprised his coach and the training staff by participating in nearly all of Thursday's 75-minute practice session.
"It was a good two days of treatment and I'm good," said Garnett, who experienced no limitations in practice. "It was a very solid day and I'm looking forward to [Friday's] game."
Said Doc Rivers: "He went most of practice and moved pretty well, which is very good news for us. I was surprised he went -- [trainer] Eddie [Lacerte] and I were -- but the swelling went down a lot [Wednesday] to basically none today. He said he didn't feel a lot of pain, so that was good."
Garnett lobbied to practice Wednesday, but Rivers demanded he sit out.
"We live on the planet of Doc Rivers," joked Garnett. "On that planet, you sit out on some days to get rest. [Wednesday] was a productive day, just like [Thursday] was a productive day."
Asked again if he'd be ready for Game 3, Garnett said, "I'll definitely be ready to go."
Perkins, who also sat out practice Wednesday, sported a big rubber sleeve over his right knee as he went through drills Thursday. Perkins admitted he's still a bit sore from a strained right knee suffered in the shootaround before Monday's Game 2, but hasn't wavered from his stance that he's going to play in Friday's Game 3.
"It's a little sore, but nothing I can't play through," said Perkins, who said he also participated fully in practice with no limitations. "It feels a lot better since the last game on Monday. I feel a lot better, coming in and getting treatment with Ed Lacerte. It felt great [Wednesday], improved today, so it's getting better."
Asked if Perkins moved well, Rivers couldn't resist a jab at his big man.
"Perk looked fine, he moved pretty well," said Rivers. "Yeah, he moved well for Perk."
Perkins admitted Wednesday the injury came from "being clumsy" while running down the court during Monday morning's shootaround. The injury tightened up on the area behind his right knee after Boston's Game 2 victory, but it's improved each day since.
Perkins suggested the three off days between Games 2 and 3 this week weren't just good for him and Garnett, but also for the entire Boston team to rest bumps and bruises. He said Rajon Rondo had been dinged up after spilling to the floor a number of times during the season, including a big bump from Shaquille O'Neal in a Game 1 loss that Rivers jokingly dubbed, "an assassination."
"[Rondo is] a little bruised up from hitting the floor a little bit," said Perkins. "It's nothing serious. Just a few war wounds."
No doubt the off time also will aid Cavaliers star LeBron James, who has a strained right elbow. The Cavaliers on Thursday announced James would not undergo another MRI on the elbow.
The Celtics and Cavs are tied 1-1 in the best-of-seven series.
Chris Forsberg covers the Celtics for ESPNBoston.com. Follow him on Twitter. Material from The Associated Press was used in this report.
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