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Big surprise, Kendrick Perkins wants to return earlier than expected

Dec 26, 2010, 10:46 PM EST

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Kendrick Perkins doesn’t strike me as a patient type guy. He seems pretty insistent in what he wants and thinks. So you can expect a pretty severe clash between he and the coaching staff in the next few weeks. You see, Perkins’ expected return date was late January, early February, somewhere in there. Perkins, though, is back on the court taking jumpers and working up a sweat. Which means he’s going to want back on the floor in the next few weeks. From CSN New England:

He’s sounding – and looking – like a guy who may be given the green light to resume playing sooner than that.

“I don’t know,” Perkins said. “Since I got on the court, I think my (return) date probably got pushed up a bit.”

When asked if he was still looking to return next month, he said, “hopefully.”

An early return for Perkins would be a major boost for a Celtics team that has been battling injuries – particularly at the center position – all season.

via Early return by Perkins could pay huge dividends.

Okay, one problem here. This is major knee surgery, a severely traumatic injury. Which means it’s not going to be based on when Perkins thinks he can come back. It’s not a hamstring pull that depends on when he thinks he can come back. It’s going to be based on when the training staff thinks he’s ready to get back on the floor. And that’s dramatically different from anything related solely to how the player feels. Surely his ability to get out there and show progress will help in their decision and his feedback will impact the return date. But in the end, it’s going to be the training and coaching staff’s decision, and they’re going to be very careful with getting him back when he’s risky.

Still, if you ever wonder what the difference between Kendrick Perkins and Andrew Bynum is, look no further. Perkins works his tail off to get back as soon as possible. Bynum? Yeah, not so much.

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