Complete Health Status for Every Boston Celtics Player in 2012-13
After last season, the Boston Celtics head coach, Doc Rivers, probably never wants to hear the word "injury" again.
The Celtics' constant battle with injuries is preventing them from reaching their full potential as a championship-caliber team.
Last season, Jeff Green and Chris Wilcox were sidelined with heart conditions, Avery Bradley missed the second half of the playoffs with a shoulder injury and Jermaine O'Neal missed the second half of the season to get wrist surgery.
How healthy (or not healthy) is the entire Celtics team to start the 2012-13 season?
Leandro Barbosa is the newest addition to the Boston Celtics. More importantly, he is healthy.
The veteran guard was limited to a wrist injury in 2009-10, which combined with other injury problems affected his shooting. Barbosa's wrist isn't a problem anymore, and he brings backcourt depth to the C's.
The 2006-07 Sixth Man of the Year should bring good energy to the team as long as he stays in good health.
Brandon Bass is healthy to start the 2012-13 regular season, but he has a recent history of knee problems.
Back in February, Bass suffered an injury to his right knee. He missed one game, then played three straight games before missing two weeks with inflammation in that same ailing right knee.
Then, in a preseason game against the Nets in October, Bass bruised his right knee in the first half and didn't return for the second. According to BostonHerald.com, Bass said the injury was no big deal.
Bass played well in the first two games of the regular season with no knee injuries. Let's hope he continues to stay healthy.
Avery Bradley underwent surgery on both shoulders during the offseason. After becoming a starter in 2011-12, he missed the second half on the postseason and is set to return in mid-December.
He is making significant progress in rehabilitation. However, he still hasn't been cleared for contact or weightlifting.
Bradley's injury directly affects the Celtics' game plan more than any other player. Head coach Doc Rivers utilized Bradley's tight perimeter defense with tougher opponents. In fact, if he's healthy, Bradley could definitely make a strong case for the NBA's First All-Defensive Team.
Courtney Lee is assuming the role of starting shooting guard until Bradley returns.
Jason Collins has a small history with injuries. When he played for the Hawks last season he suffered a torn ligament in his elbow. The center missed over a month of basketball after an MRI revealed the severity of the tear.
Collins has been healthy with the Celtics so far this season.
Kevin Garnett is prone to injury for two reasons. First, his legs are aging as he nears retirement. Secondly, he's a lanky power forward playing the starting center position.
Last season, Garnett dealt with a recurring hip flexor that caused him to sit out games in February and March. The best way for the Celtics to prevent KG from sitting out often this season is to let him rest. His minutes must decrease if they want him 100 percent for the playoffs.
Boston also needs to utilize backup centers Darko Milicic and Jason Collins when the team faces bigger centers like Andrew Bynum and Dwight Howard. Playing smart will lower the chances of injury for Garnett.
After sitting out all of last season with a heart condition, Jeff Green is healthy again.
Green didn't actually deal with an injury—it was more like a health scare. He had to get heart surgery for an aortic aneurysm. It took the entire 2011-12 season for him to recover, but he finally rejoined the C's in the preseason.
Green's level of play is impressive, as he comes off the bench for Paul Pierce. His heart condition should no longer be an issue.
Kris Joseph won't get much (if any) playing time for the Celtics during the 2012-13 regular season.
Joseph hyperextended his knee during a Summer League game, but it wasn't a big concern. In fact, he returned form the injury only four days later.
The rookie is currently healthy, and will probably spend significant time in the NBA Developmental League.
Courtney Lee is starting the regular season healthy, but not at 100 percent. The shooting guard has been dealing with a thigh bruise since mid-September. The injury didn't keep Lee from missing practices or preseason games, but it is an issue for him.
According to Boston Globe, Lee is still recovering from the thigh injury. The guard needs to get his legs back, which is apparent when some of his shots come up short.
It's a day-to-day injury that seems to be slowly healing. Thankfully, it's not serious enough to significantly affect Lee's game.
Fab Melo hasn't seen much action for the Boston Celtics yet. The big man from Syracuse is making slow progress and will most likely spend time in the NBA Developmental League soon.
However, Melo did see action in the Summer League. He also bruised his left hand in a loss to the Sacramento Kings.
So far in the 2012-13 regular season, Melo is sitting injury-free on the bench.
Darko Milicic suffered a mild right wrist sprain during a preseason game against the Philadelphia 76ers. He sat out for four straight exhibition games and didn't play in the season opener against the Miami Heat.
According to WEEI.com, Milicic said the pain in his right wrist would probably be a lingering issue that could only truly be healed with rest. He has been participating in practices and is content with taping his wrist to continue playing.
Milicic's absence could potentially increase pressure on Kevin Garnett. With KG as power forward turned starting center, he will have difficulty muscling up against centers like Andrew Bynum. Milicic is needed for those situations, and his injury affects the lineup for the entire team.
Paul Pierce is the most injury-prone player on the Boston Celtics. Over the last three years, he's averaged about 34 minutes per game. This season, his minutes are expected to drop in order to preserve the veteran for the playoffs.
Last season, Pierce suffered a sprained media collateral ligament in the playoffs. He continued to play with the injury, although he was clearly not 100 percent.
In a 2012-13 preseason game against the Brooklyn Nets, Pierce twisted his left ankle after landing awkwardly on Gerald Wallace's foot. He got his ankle re-taped and returned to the game, so it wasn't a serious injury.
However, it's not a good sign that Pierce is already getting injured. The team captain is a vital member of the Celtics and the No. 1 scoring option. The Celtics need him to win games.
Rajon Rondo is completely healthy to start the 2012-13 season.
His last injury was back in April when he took a hard fall in a loss to the New York Knicks. The point guard landed on his back, but proceeded to finish the game. He sat out the following night due to back spasms.
Rondo is a pretty tough player who rarely lets injuries keep him on the bench. Although he takes hard falls when driving to the basket, you can usually count on him to get back up.
When Jared Sullinger was drafted into the NBA, there were major concerns about his back. In fact, he was even red-flagged by NBA doctors. Sulliger has a bulging area due to tight quads and hamstrings.
To combat the issue, Sullinger has been doing yoga and other exercises to increase his flexiblity. According to his agent, David Falk, if Sullinger maintains his flexibility and keeps his weight under control, he should have no problems for the next 15 years.
Sixth man Jason Terry has no current injury.
Last season, Terry received treatment for a hip flexor problem, but he claimed it wasn't serious. Terry also sat out in February with a mild quadriceps strain.
After 13 years in the league, injuries become a regular part of the game. Hopefully, Terry can maintain his current health status because he has a pivotal role as sixth man on the team.
Chris Wilcox has been dealing with a back spasms since the preseason. He suffered an injury early in training camp and finally returned to practice this week.
Wilcox has not played in a game since March. Last season, he started four times before he was sidelined with a heart condition. Wilcox was one of the first options from off the bench, as well as one of the most productive big men on the team.
He is supposed to be the primary backup for Kevin Garnett. The Celtics need his size and post game on the floor. Wilcox was able to participate in full recovery workouts last week, so hopefully he can get back on the court and finally establish his role with the team soon.