Doc: KG could be back Sunday
"I think he'll be back, maybe as early as Sunday, but I don't know yet," Rivers said. "He's not going to do anything (Thursday). He's doing all the running and stuff in (the weight room) and he'll do some court stuff without the team. And he'll probably participate in the shootaround (Friday), but I'm not going to play him (Friday), even if he wants to play."
Garnett has missed the last seven games due to inflammation in his left ankle, which he originally injured in a March 20 loss to the New Orleans Hornets.
Garnett was spotted at the team's practice facility Thursday, exiting the training room to participate in a brief ceremony in which the Celtics honored members of the United States Air Force. Garnett was not wearing a walking boot or any other kind of protective gear.
Pressed if Garnett's condition was indeed improving, Rivers said: "Yeah, he feels good."
With three more games on this homestand (Friday vs. Cleveland, Sunday vs. Washington, and Wednesday vs. Brooklyn), the Celtics have a chance to squeeze in as many as four days of full-team practice (not including valuable shootaround time on game days).
One player that won't be back on the court this season is Rajon Rondo, but Rivers thinks being around the team will help him be a better player when he returns next season.
"I think when you sit and watch, especially at a young age, and you watch how the team functions, you just watch a lot of things," Rivers said earlier Thursday on Boston sports radio WEEI. "[Wednesday] in shootaround, we’re going throughout skeleton offense and he was making comments about how we have to execute better, he could see it. It’s really good. Obviously, I’d rather him play, than him sitting on the sideline, but this can’t hurt you."
Play Podcast Patriots RB Shane Vereen shares his thoughts about his wrist injury, his role in the Patriots' attack, the jelling of New England's offense and more.
Play Podcast Two-time World Series champion Johnny Damon dishes on Jacoby Ellsbury's decision to sign with the Yankees, what moving from Boston to New York is like and more.
Play Podcast ESPN NFL analyst Herm Edwards weighs in on how to beat the Seahawks, Bill Belichick's comments about replay, the playoff picture, Mike Tomlin's apology and more.
Play Podcast Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski weighs in on the state of New England's offense, Antonio Smith's controversial comments, illegal hits, his health and more.
Play Podcast ESPN NFL analyst Trent Dilfer weighs in on Geno Smith's struggles, how much responsibility for the Jets' problems falls on Rex Ryan, the Patriots' defense, the Saints' challenges on the road and more.