WALTHAM --- Delonte West has been anxious to get back out on the court from the day he broke his right (non-shooting) wrist on November 24.
He was so eager to return that he tried to convince the Boston Celtics staff to let him play last Sunday against the Miami Heat, ahead of schedule.
The team said no, erring on the side of caution, but was open to having him play limited minutes on Wednesday against the New Jersey Nets.
Just a day before his projected return, however, West suffered another injury during practice on Tuesday, putting his availability in question.
Delonte practiced but didn't get through practice, said Doc Rivers. He got hit on the hand, like we were worried about, so we'll see tomorrow.
Rivers added, I was worried about it yesterday, and it happened. So we'll see. I'm sure we're going to do another x-ray to make sure nothing happened.
West has sat out 48 of the Celtics 53 games this season. After serving a 10-game suspension for pleading guilty to weapons charges, he played in only five games before breaking his wrist. He averaged 6.8 points, 2.0 assists and 1.8 rebounds off the bench in those contests.
Even though West originally planned to return the first game after the All-Star Break, he had made enough progress to get cleared earlier than expected.
"I want to play. I'm a player," West before Sundays game against the Heat. "We've been geared and trained for this, to play through injuries or minor injuries. But I think they're looking more for the big picture. They don't want me to get out there and re-injure it before it's right there at the finish line. So a few more days and Ill be going be going full tilt."
While West admitted he was not 100 percent healthy, he was pleased that the bone was pretty much healed. As of Sunday, he had not taken any hard falls or hits on his right wrist, but he wasnt going to hold himself back by worrying about it happening.
I must say once you get out there and youre playing, just like in previously practices and the adrenaline gets flowing, you really dont pay not attention to it, he said. So Im happy where Im at as far as the injury goes and Im just looking forward to getting back out there.
Said Rivers, You've got to play. If somebody's going to hit you, they're going to hit you. It's going to happen. It's basketball.
Injuries are part of the game, but West may have to wait a little longer before he can return to it.
Jessica Camerato is on Twitter athttp:twitter.comjcameratoNBA