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Report Bradley will rejoin Celtics lineup Jan. 2

Dec 28, 2012, 10:20 AM EDT

Avery Bradley, Nolan Smith AP

Avery Bradley is back in Boston, not with his Celtics teammates out West enjoying the balmy weather (although they didn’t much enjoy their welcome by the Los Angeles Clippers Thursday night).

But while Bradley did not make a West Coast swing, he likely will rejoin his teammates on Jan. 2 when they host the Memphis Grizzlies, reports the Boston Globe.

Rivers reiterated that point guard Avery Bradley will not join the club on this West Coast trip but is expected to return Jan. 2 against the Grizzlies.

Bradley is working out in Waltham, Mass., with strength and conditioning coach Bryan Doo and Chris Wilcox, who is out for a month with a sprained ulnar collateral ligament in his right wrist. Bradley has not played since Game 5 of the Eastern Conference semifinals last May, and Rivers did not want to rush him back from double shoulder surgery.

This has been the expected return date for a while, so while not shocking news it’s confirmation that Bradley’s return is near.

And while the expectations for what Bradley brings seems to have gotten a little too high in parts of Boston, he is key. He brings another strong perimeter defender to the Celtics starting lineup, which will help improve their defense. It lets Doc Rivers start to really set his rotation with Jason Terry going back to a sixth-man role where he thrives.

A lot of good things happen. But a lot of good things need to happen for a Celtics roster that is playing .500 ball so far this season.

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