Ex-Celtic Kendrick Perkins' injury healing quickly


Ex-Celtic Kendrick Perkins’ pectoral injury is healing ahead of schedule to the point where the veteran big man could be back on the floor this week.

Perkins told Comcast SportsNet’s Kyle Draper that he was targeting a return to the floor for Friday’s game against Washington.

The player that Perkins is now isn’t nearly as good as the man that started at center for the 2008 Celtics title team.

But New Orleans head coach Alvin Gentry still sees tremendous value in what Perkins brings to the Pelicans from a leadership standpoint.

“He’s the best teammate I’ve ever seen, without a doubt. I really do believe that,” Gentry told reporters on Saturday. “As long as I’m the coach and as long as he wants to be here, I would try and find a way to keep him.”

Perkins has always been a physical, in-your-face kind of player whose toughness has never been questioned. 

That mentality is part of what Gentry believes can be instilled in the Pelicans’ franchise big man, Anthony Davis.

“He’s a great mentor for AD,” Gentry said of Perkins. “He’s a great mentor for our team. We got a pretty quiet team. So to have an outspoken voice …”

Perkins is uh, a little more than just an outspoken voice, coach.

“That would be the understatement of the year,” Gentry chuckled.

Perkins has talked about the importance of sacrifice and understanding one’s role as essential building blocks towards any team having great success.

“He’s not afraid to challenge,” Gentry said. “And guys know, it’s always about the team. He’s not the same player, but he’s the same worker.

Perkins has appeared in three games this season (two starts), averaging 5.3 points, 2.7 rebounds and 0.7 assists.

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