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Tag:Luol Deng
Posted on: April 21, 2009 2:27 pm

What does Powe's injury mean for Garnett?

In the visiting locker room before Game 1 in Boston, the Bulls' Luol Deng mentioned something interesting that comes to mind now with word that Leon Powe is out for the year with a torn knee ligament.

The morning after John Salmons tweaked his groin in late March, Deng rushed to the practice court to test the stress fracture in his leg to see if there was any chance of an accelerated comeback. With the Bulls in a tight playoff race, Deng felt an extra sense of urgency to get back on the court and "give it a go," he said.

"The next day," Deng added, "I had a huge setback."

So the strategy didn't work. But that doesn't mean it can't be tried again. Not by Deng, but by one Kevin Garnett.

Celtics coach Doc Rivers has made it abundantly clear that Garnett will not play in these playoffs and that he's not entertaining any more questions about it. That doesn't mean the story -- or Garnett's desire to return -- will go away.

Garnett's every move is under close scrutiny, as evidenced by this story Sunday in the Boston Herald describing a surprise appearance by Garnett on the Celtics' practice court in workout clothes. Clearly, Garnett is continuing to test his knee in an attempt -- however futile -- to rejoin his team and avert a first-round series loss to the Baby Bulls.

The Celtics can't do this without Garnett, much less without Garnett and Powe, a key reserve in their title run last year. So based on how Deng and other injured players are known to react when more teammates get injured, I'd say it's a pretty safe bet that Garnett will kick it up a notch in his effort to return.

It might not work, and Rivers might not want to talk about it. But that doesn't mean it can't be tried.



Posted on: April 18, 2009 12:03 pm

Bulls' Deng says he could be back for Round 2

BOSTON -- With all the focus on Kevin Garnett, there's been barely a mention of another key player missing the Bulls-Celtics series. But Luol Deng said Saturday he may be able to return in some capacity if Chicago advances to the second round.

"In my mind, yes," Deng said in the visiting locker room before the Bulls and Celtics opened their best-of-seven series. "I don't know what the doctors will say, but I feel like I could hopefully do something."

Deng has been out since the end of February with a stress fracture in his right leg. He revealed Saturday that an MRI this week showed the fracture is about halfway healed.

"It's leading in the right direction," Deng said. "It could be a month. It could be longer. I could be OK in two weeks."

Unlike Garnett, who is averse to sitting on the bench when he can't play, Deng said he's OK with it. Garnett, too, told Celtics coach Doc Rivers he'd make an exception and join his teammates on the bench.

"I know Garnett is very intense," Deng said. "I can sit on the bench. It's tough, but I'm fine sitting on the bench."

Rivers and the Celtics were still wrestling with a more serious, off-the-court health situation as they prepared to open their title defense. Team president Danny Ainge was continuing to rest comfortable in Massachusetts General Hospital after suffering a mild heart attack Thursday.

"He told me I've got to start eating better and exercising more, because I have more stress than him," Rivers said. "I told him he's stressing about me stressing. And to relax."







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