Celtics

Allen returns to practice, but will he play Friday?

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Allen returns to practice, but will he play Friday?

WALTHAM You know, Allen Iverson may have been on to something with his disdain for practice.

Because the way things are starting to play out, keeping Ray Allen out of practices and limiting him during shootarounds may be the only way to get him back on the floor for an actual game.

Celtics coach Doc Rivers is getting to a point where that may indeed be an option to consider as Allen continues to struggle at returning to the court since suffering a right ankle injury during the regular season.

"We don't know if practicing is a good idea or not," Rivers said prior to Thursday's practice which did include Allen.

Allen made it through a rare Celtics practice on Thursday, seemingly okay.

But we've seen time and time again, Allen would make it through a workout in decent shape the day before a game, only to have problems surface within hours or a day later.

Rivers acknowledged that he would "be upset" at himself if Allen made it through Thursday's practice but was unable to play in Game 3.

Allen, who has missed the last 11 games -- including the last nine of the regular season and both playoff games thus far -- remains hopeful he'll be able to play Friday.

"I like how I feel now; I'm in a good place," he said. "I'm optimistic."

Since he began having significant ankle problems in late March, he's had days when the ankle felt good enough to allow him to do many of the preparation-like things he's used to, such as practicing with the team or participating in the C's shootaround on game days.

But the good vibes then are soon followed by swelling and discomfort.

Allen recently revealed that he has bone spurs in the right ankle. He said swelling in the ankle area makes the bone spurs more active and, thus, puts his pain threshold to the test in ways that have kept him sidelined.

That's why Allen's demeanor on Thursday, while upbeat, had more to do with how he was feeling at the moment than it did the possibility that he might play on Friday.

"I've tried to read my body as best I can," Allen said. "The last couple days, I've been in a really good place."

When asked about playing in Game 3, a grinning Allen said, "I'm optimistic first; period. I deal with the days as they come. If I'm sitting here Friday feeling good, that's a different story."

A 16-year-veteran, Allen is known for his ritualistic preparation which does add some pressure to that gimpy, surgically repaired ankle.

Hes a tough one because hes such a creature of habit," Rivers said. "He does his workouts the night before every game and does his two hours of shooting and then before the game does his hour of shooting. Thats a lot of work. We have to figure out a way of allowing him to try to do some of it, but not doing so much where when he finishes he cant play. Id rather take 10 minutes of him on the floor than nothing, if thats what it comes to.

Convincing Allen to ease up is a lot easier said than done.

"I only know what I know," Allen said. "Even in the games that I haven't played, I still try to get into the building and work on something to hopefully get my body ready and prepared to keep it where it needs to be. I don't fly by the seat of my pants. Everything is deliberate. I've been deliberately doing what I need to get back. So hopefully, I'll get to that point."

Agent doesn't expect Gordon Hayward to return this season, but foresees full recovery

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Agent doesn't expect Gordon Hayward to return this season, but foresees full recovery

PHILADELPHIA --  Only hours removed from surgery to repair a dislocated left ankle and fractured fibia injury, Gordon Hayward’s agent tells NBC Sports Boston that his client is already attacking the rehab process.
 
“We expect him to have a full recovery,” agent Mark Bartelstein said via phone Thursday.
 
That said, Bartelstein also noted that it’s unlikely that the 6-foot-8 forward will return to action this season.
 
“We don’t have a timetable or anything like that for him,” Bartelstein said. “It’s about getting better, healthier every day.”
 
The Celtics released a statement Thursday afternoon indicating Hayward underwent successful “bony and ligamentous stabilization surgery for the fracture dislocation of his left ankle.”
 
Performing the surgery was Drs. Mark Slovenkai and Brian McKeon at New England Baptist Hospital, with Dr. Anthony Schena assisting followed by consultations with Dr. David Porter of Methodist Sports Medicine in Indianapolis.
 
Hayward suffered the injury in the first quarter of Boston’s 102-99 loss at Cleveland on Tuesday when he was attempting to catch a lob pass from Kyrie Irving.
 
On the play, Hayward landed awkwardly on his ankle, which contorted in a way where it was clear immediately that he would be out of action for a significant amount of time.
 
Since the injury, Hayward has received an amazing amount of outpouring of well-wishes and prayers from Kobe Bryant, Julian Edelman, Rob Gronkowski and a cast of other current and former athletes. Both Edelman and Gronkowski know all too well about the challenges associated with returning to play after an injury.
 
"Go into rehab just like you go into anything else: dominate it," Gronkowski said. "Come back when you feel ready. Come back when you’re 100 percent. He wouldn’t be where he is now if he wasn’t a hard worker.”
 
And then there are the Celtics fans, whose support has been impressive.
 
Hayward delivered a pre-recorded message to the fans at the TD Garden that was aired on the Jumbotron high above half court prior to Wednesday night’s game against Milwaukee. Even after the video ended, there was no escaping Hayward’s presence was still very much in the building and on the minds of fans.
 
At one point in the 108-100 Celtics loss on Wednesday, Boston fans began a “Gor-don Hay-ward!” chant that soon swept its way throughout the TD Garden.
 
“It has been a bit overwhelming the amount of support that Gordon has received,” Bartelstein said. “It touched him in so many ways. The outpouring he got, certainly all the fans in the arena last night, from players around the league … it meant the world to him. And obviously, going through something like this, it’s devastating. So, to see so many reach out to him, it means the world to him and his family; there’s no doubt about it.”