Saturday marked a step in the right direction for Tristan Thompson, whose status for Wednesday's season opener has been up in the air due to a hamstring strain.
The new Boston Celtics big man has been limited in camp and did not play in either of the C's two preseason games. He was a full participant in Saturday's practice, however, and head coach Brad Stevens was encouraged by what he saw.
That's obviously a great sign for the Celtics, but it doesn't mean Thompson will be ready to suit up as soon as Wednesday. Thompson made it clear he isn't going to make the mistake of rushing his return.
“It felt good to be back on the court, felt good to practice, go through a full practice with the fellas," Thompson said. "It's good to be back out there. It's been nine months so it’s my first practice. Felt good to be with my new teammates and be around the coaches and be at a full capacity.
"In terms of being back playing, that's a training staff question. For me, I’m the type of guy that’s going to punch in the clock, do whatever needs to be done, and then when they say I'm ready to go, I'm ready to go. I think the key for everyone is just making sure that we don't rush this. We don't want anything lingering or lagging because, myself and my teammates, we're trying to play in late June, July, so we want everyone to be healthy throughout the year.”
The Celtics certainly could use Thompson when they open their season vs. the Milwaukee Bucks, but they need him even more for the long-haul and likely will play it safe with the veteran center.
Wednesday's Celtics-Bucks game is set to tip off at 7:30 p.m. ET.