X-rays on Bradley's Ribs are Negative
WALTHAM, Mass. – A second set of X-rays on Celtics guard Avery Bradley’s ribs came back negative Saturday afternoon.
Bradley, who bruised his ribs during Wednesday night’s contest against the New Orleans Hornets, is expected to travel with the Celtics to Detroit for Sunday’s game against the Pistons.
The injury caused Bradley to miss Boston’s 100-99 overtime loss to the Chicago Bulls on Friday night. Doc Rivers said both Friday night and Saturday afternoon that Bradley felt much better on Friday than he did on Thursday. However, the progression ended there.
“It just didn’t improve,” Rivers said. “It was better. He told me he felt much better (on Friday), and then today he said, ‘Man, I feel the same.’ So that’s not an improvement.”
As a result, the Celtics felt the need to send Bradley for a second set of X-rays in order to determine the extent of the injury. As Rivers said, it was a precaution that the team needed to take with their difference-making guard.
“We just want to make sure they’re not cracked or something like that,” said Rivers. “I think the (first) X-ray showed it wasn’t, but we had to do a [second X-ray] to make sure it wasn’t.”
The Celtics announced at about 2 p.m. Saturday afternoon that the second set of X-rays came back negative.
The team must be elated to learn that the injury is minimal for Bradley. He has been the key to the team’s success over the past two seasons. Boston is 6-2 this season with Bradley in the lineup and just 14-17 when he does not play.
Bradley obviously makes an impact with his renowned defense but media members are beginning to wonder how often the guard will be available for the Celtics. He has been injured throughout his career, beginning with an ankle injury before the 2010 NBA Draft. He then experienced shoulder issues toward the end of last season and was forced to undergo double-shoulder surgery in the offseason. Those surgeries prevented him from playing in a game this season until January 2, and then, just 16 days after that date, he was back on the injury list with these bruised ribs.
Rivers was asked on Saturday about all of those injuries and whether he’s worried about Bradley’s availability moving forward. The coach was straight to the point in detailing the fact that Bradley suffers injuries because of his style of play, and that the Celtics do not want his style to change.
“Well he just plays hard, and guys like that are going to get injured,” Rivers explained. “That’s fine by me. It really is. I want him to play the way he plays. He’ll probably get better at it as his career goes on, and then have less and less (injuries).”
Rivers also pointed out that there are several players in the league who suffer injuries because they play a similar style of basketball as Bradley does.
“(Anderson) Varejao gets hurt all the time – he plays hard,” said Rivers. “There’s a group of guys. Delonte (West). Kirk Hinrich was one of those guys; he’s always in a scrum. But you can’t do without those guys, either, and what they do is really important for your team. So you can never tell them not to.”
Bradley’s importance to the Celtics can be seen in the win-loss column. Boston simply isn’t the same team without him. Although Bradley is doubtful for Sunday's game, Saturday's news means the C's should expect him back sooner rather than later.