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Doc Rivers says Darko “most likely” gone from Celtics

Nov 20, 2012, 4:37 PM EDT

Darko Milicic AP

With a sick mother back home and no playing time in Boston, reports surfaced on Monday that Darko Milicic had returned home to be close to his family and was considering staying there and not coming back.

Doc Rivers basically confirmed that on Tuesday, reports A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.com.

“Most likely, yes,” was C’s head coach Doc Rivers’ response when asked if Milicic’s time in Boston was over…

Rivers acknowledged that the situation with Milicic’s mother had been discussed previously, and that his decision to leave the team did not come as a surprise.

“We’ve talked about it three or four times,” Rivers said.

First, Darko is putting being with his sick mother ahead of basketball, which is the way it should be. Rivers said when Milicic found out about his mother you could see his play drop off. And Rivers made it clear Darko did not just abandon the team, this was discussed.

Still, a parting of the ways seems the best course here. After a preseason where Celtics fans tried to convince themselves he could play regular minutes as a backup center, Milicic played just five minutes on opening night and hasn’t set foot on the court since.

It is likely the Celtics would waive or reach a buyout deal with Milicic, who signed a one-year contract at the veteran minimum in Boston.

Once he is cut loose a roster spot opens up, leading to a lot of speculation about the Celtics adding someone. Maybe Kenyon Martin. But Rivers didn’t sound eager to make a move.

“We’re going to look around, but I can tell you that we are in no rush,” Rivers said.

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