The Boston Celtics made sharpshooter Ray Allen a reserve because of the stellar play of guard Avery Bradley. But Bradley got hurt and missed the last half of the season.
Losing Allen to the Miami Heat via free agency hurt the Celtics, but thy were comforted knowing they had Bradley recovering from shoulder surgery. However, it looks as if Bradley could miss much of the first half of the season.
His recovery from two offseason surgeries on his shoulders left coach Doc Rivers to proclaim Bradly is “nowhere near ready” to participate in the team’s training camp, which opens on Friday, coach Doc Rivers said.
“Not even close,” Rivers told ESPNBoston.com. “I don’t like to put a time limit on injuries, but I don’t think you’ll see him before December — and there’s a chance it could be closer to January.”
The 21-year-old Bradley tried to play through a series of dislocations of his left shoulder, but finally had to be shut down during the playoffs and had the left shoulder surgically repaired. He later had his right shoulder repaired in early July.
A source said in July that Bradley would likely be ready in time for training camp in September, but the Celtics later acknowledged he could miss the early part of the season.
Early last month, Bradley said he wasn’t sure when he’d be able to fully resume basketball activities.
“For any athlete, especially me being a young athlete, it’s hard for me to not to be able to wake up every day and play the game of basketball,” Bradley said. “It’s hard for me. I just have to take it day by day and let my body heal itself.”
Bradley proved to be a relentless defensive player who melded well with the point guard Rajon Rondo in applying on-ball pressure. The tandem of the athletic young guards accounted for some of the most electric plays of Boston’s season.
But it looks like the duo will not reunite on the court until well into the season.