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Kendrick Perkins still hopes for late January return

Jan 4, 2011, 11:50 AM EDT

Kendrick Perkins

Ultimately, it is the doctors who get the final say on when Kendrick Perkins can return from a traumatic knee injury suffered during last June’s NBA Finals. Traumatic enough that seven months later he is finally back on the court working out but may be a month or more away from playing.

Perkins reiterated to Marc Spears of Yahoo the “best case scenario” has him back by the end of January. Perkins has certainly put in the work so the best case could become reality, but with the cautious nature of the Celtics organization regarding injuries don’t be shocked if February turns out to be the actual date. Perkins gets that.

“I’m thinking right before the All-Star Break I will get a few games in, but maybe a little sooner than that,” Perkins said. “Things are going well. I haven’t had any setbacks or anything like that.”

The All-Star break starts Feb. 18, saving some of you from Googling that.

Spears also notes that Perkins is in the last year of his deal. If he can prove he is healthy there will be a number of teams looking for a defensive and rebounding force in the paint and may pay well to get one (Oklahoma City, we’re looking at you).

But to hear Perkins is to hear him focus solely on winning a title this season with the Celtics, something he feels his injury robbed him and his teammates of last June. He has said it before and he reiterated it again — he is sure this Celtics team can win another title.

“In seven games I don’t think we can be beat by any team,” he said. “Too deep. Too much experience. Too many hard-working guys. Too many guys that have a chip on their shoulder.”

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