Bruins

From football to boxing: Bradley's unconventional road to recovery

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From football to boxing: Bradley's unconventional road to recovery

BOSTON -- A football flew across the parquet into the outstretched arms of Avery Bradley. It was an unusual sight during pregame warmups on Saturday as Bradley's teammates took jumpshots and free throws a few feet away before the Boston Celtics took on the Philadelphia 76ers.

Playing catch with a football is one of the ways the Celtics staff is breaking up the monotony of Bradley's lengthy rehabilitation from double shoulder surgery. Bradley has been sidelined since last May and will be re-evaluated in two weeks to determine if he can return to practice this month.

"It was something we do to help my arm strength," Bradley explained to CSNNE.com. "We try to make it fun at the same time. At first I wasn't sure about it. I was like, 'B.Doo (Celtics strength and conditioning coach Bryan Doo), this doesn't make sense.' Once I started doing it, him throwing the ball hard and me extending, I have to do the same thing with a basketball and I have to see if I'm able to do it or not. It definitely helps. This is our second time doing it. Since it helps me out, we will probably continue doing it."

The Celtics have been creative with Bradley's routines, mixing in unconventional workouts and drills to keep him engaged. The 22-year-old guard has taken to the new methods during his recovery.

"We even do boxing," Bradley said. "They put on the gloves and I wear the pads and they punch them so I can receive them like someone's pushing my arm. At first I was boxing and then I stopped and just did the receiving because it was more important. We've been doing that for two weeks. It makes me stronger and it helps me see where I'm at at the same time. Let's say if somebodys pushing my arm, I try to get myself back to being used to those forces and resistance."

The workouts are paying off. After throwing around the football, Bradley got up for a dunk under the watchful eye of his coaches.

"I've been dunking for a while, just trying not to hang on the rim. Now I'm trying to see if I can," he said. "[Saturday] I told B. Doo, 'Watch me dunk so I can see if I can take all my weight hanging down on the rim.' I was able to hang on the rim. I kind of felt like I was at that point but I haven't been doing it because I didn't want to hurt myself. Now I know I am, so I definitely feel the progression every single day working with B. Doo and [Celtics athletic trainer] Ed [Lacerte]."

Bradley isn't making any predictions for his upcoming re-evaluation. He knows the final decision is out of his hands. In the meantime, he is doing everything he can to stay in game shape for when he is given the green light, no matter how tedious the process can be at times.

"I can't really say [what I expect to be told] because it's not up to me," he said. "I'm just going to continue working hard every day like I've been doing. It's hard for me because some of the stuff I don't want to do. I hate doing all the conditioning drills because you feel like you're in shape and it's like, 'Man, I do not feel like doing this every single day.' That's how you feel, I rather be playing than running for no reason. That's probably the hardest part for me. It's boring to me and I do it every day. I'm in good shape. Obviously when I come back, the adrenaline, I'm going to be tired, I'm going to get so excited. I know I'm going to be going so hard, but I'm going to be fine."

Morning Skate: Not all smooth sailing for top picks

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Morning Skate: Not all smooth sailing for top picks

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while enjoying the return of Adolfo to Toucher and Rich this morning.

*Jack Eichel and Connor McDavid have received plenty of acclaim over the past couple of years as talented, young stars in the league, but Pro Hockey Talk’s James O’Brien details how things haven’t gone ideally for either of those youngsters, or their teams, this season. Clearly, it’s not at this level yet, but just think about the hype behind Taylor Hall and Tyler Seguin when they were drafted 1-2 back in 2010, and what they have, and haven’t, been able to accomplish in the league since that time.

*Outstanding rookie Brock Boeser credits a conversation with Vancouver Canucks coach Travis Green for helping spark his game this season.

*Good video piece on the near miss of Wayne Gretzky almost playing for the Toronto Maple Leafs after dominating them in the playoffs.  

*Salivating for some hockey trades? The 10 potential NHL trade deadline targets around the league as we wait for players to become available for trade later in the season.  

*Hockeybuzz is asking what the NHL, and more specifically the Hockey Hall of Fame, has against goaltenders?

*For something completely different: A great piece from Drew Bledsoe on the tragic passing of former Patriots wide receiver Terry Glenn, and how his death came just as he seemed to be putting all the pieces of his life together.

 

Marchand, Krug and Backes all practice, won't play vs. Devils

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Marchand, Krug and Backes all practice, won't play vs. Devils

BRIGHTON, Mass – The Bruins are getting closer to a healthier lineup, but it won’t be in time for the Thanksgiving Eve road tilt against the upstart New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center.

Brad Marchand (upper body), Torey Krug (upper body) and David Backes (colon surgery) all skated in red no-contact jerseys at practice Tuesday at Warrior Ice Arena, so none of those three banged-up B’s will be making the trip to Jersey. Anders Bjork (upper body) didn’t practice and is obviously out vs. the Devils as well, but Ryan Spooner might be a possibility after making it through his first full practice since tearing his groin almost six weeks ago.

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If he can make it through Wednesday's morning skate without any problems, Spooner will likely be a game-time decision against the Devils after missing the past 14 games.  

The Bruins have continued to indicate that Marchand is in the concussion protocol, though it appears the Bruins agitator is dealing with both upper body and lower body issues. Marchand was encouraged by the progress he’s making while returning to practice, so perhaps the B’s could get back one of their leading scorers sooner rather than later.

“I feel pretty good. It’s good to be back with the guys and feel like you’re a part of the team,” said Marchand, who has missed five of the past seven games after returning for the home-and-home against the Maple Leafs. “It’s frustrating whenever you miss games and you miss time away from the team, but they had a great road trip and they’re playing well. It would be nice to be back in the lineup consistently and be back with the team...it’ll come.”

Here are the projected Bruins line combos and D-pairings vs. the Devils based on practice Tuesday:

Heinen-Bergeron-Pastrnak

DeBrusk-Krejci-Cehlarik

Vatrano-Spooner-Nash/Szwarz

Schaller-Kuraly-Acciari

Beleskey-Marchand-Backes

 
Chara-McAvoy

O’Gara/Postma-Carlo

Grzelcyk-Miller

 
Rask

Khudobin