He was originally slated to make his return after All Star break... Then he was feeling so good that he said he'd be back February 4th... Then he surprised us all and came back to action on January 25, at home against Cleveland. That was 5 games ago, and his transition back has been remarkable.
The rebounds are good. The defensive stops warm the heart of his coach. The inside points are a nice bonus. But the most positive development for Kendrick Perkins is that somewhere on the Celtics tour of the West, he made such a seamless transition that one could forget he’d just come back last week from offseason ACL surgery. Now playing the most minutes at center, Perkins had eight points and 10 rebounds in Tuesday night’s 95-90 win against the Sacramento Kings that secured a 3-1 trip.
That he was smiling at the end, having passed his own psychological test, certainly was comforting. That Perkins made it through the four games in six nights with no physical trouble is a goal secured. “This definitely helps my confidence,” Perkins said. “I think it’s all mental. I keep saying that. A lot of people out there are not 100 percent, so I think you’ve just got to keep pushing, keep grinding. I feel good. My body feels good. I feel like I’m getting in good shape. It’s only five games. I’m just going to keep on pushing from there.”
Remember, this is a player who averaged 10.1 points on 60.2 percent shooting last season. “I’ve still got a lot of work to do, but I’ll tell you when I think I’m there,” said Perkins, who’s made 11-of-18 attempts from the floor (61.1 percent) so far.
Heading into the Sacramento game, coach Doc Rivers didn’t have a definitive call on when Perkins would go back into the starting lineup, but there doesn’t seem to be any reason to wait. “He will in due time,” Rivers said. “There’s no date for it or anything. He just looks good, and I’m happy. He looks great, so as long as he looks good and doesn’t show us anything (that could bring concern), we’re just going to keep him out there.” (source)