Delonte Breaks Hand, Out Indefinitely


ORLANDO, Fla. - Just two games into his return from a fractured right thumb, Delonte West suffered a broken right hand that will keep the rookie point guard out indefinitely. West broke his hand on an innocuous-looking fall early in the second quarter against Miami Sunday night. He iced the hand at halftime and came back to play in the second half. Postgame X-rays revealed the fracture.

"My hand was numb for most of the rest of the game, so I knew something was wrong," said West. "I want to be out there. I want to contribute.

   "I'm depressed and all that. But I can't be with my head down. We've still got games to win. I'm hoping for a quick recovery."

The Celtics will know more about the length of the recovery after West sees a hand specialist today. Coach Doc Rivers said he planned to activate Michael Stewart but was holding off until today's reevaluation.

"Not to play on words, but it's a terrible break," said Rivers. "Our second unit was starting to really play well and this kid was playing his butt off.

"I saw him fall. I was shocked when they told me he had to do an X-ray."

He was sorely missed

The reason Rivers doesn't like to deal with details of player injuries was on display last night at the TD Waterhouse Centre: Grant Hill. During Rivers's coaching tenure in Orlando, Hill's reconstructed right ankle overshadowed much of what happened on the court. If Hill had been healthy, Rivers believes he would still be coaching the Magic. But that doesn't keep Rivers from wishing Hill continued success.

"He's one of the better people I've ever been in contact with, on the court or off the court," said Rivers. "He deserves every good thing that comes in his life."

Lately, things have been very good for Hill, though he was held to 11 points last night in the Celtics' 117-101 victory. He is averaging 20.1 points, 4.1 assists, and 5.4 rebounds, and was Eastern Conference Player of the Week for the period ending Nov. 21.

"I knew that if Grant Hill played and was healthy, I was a better coach the next day," said Rivers. "I knew if Grant Hill didn't play, I would not be a better coach the next day. That's just how sports is.

"I really stayed out of the mix medically with it. That's probably what's got me to where I am now when guys get hurt. I rarely even ask. There's nothing I can do."

Welcomed back

Rivers returned to Orlando for the first time as Celtics coach, though he has made a few quick visits to the city this season to see his children compete in various sports. He greated Orlando coach Johnny Davis, his former assistant, with a hug at midcourt before the game, and the crowd gave Rivers a cheer when he was announced. "I took something good from the whole experience," said Rivers. "I had 99.9 percent good things that happened to me in Orlando. I had very few bad things happen to me. John Gabriel hired a guy that had never coached and allowed me to coach. Things didn't work out more because of injury than anything else; nothing that we did wrong. I was Coach of the Year here. I got to see a lot of young guys turn into good players."


FLCeltsFan said...

I really like Delonte as a player. The kid goes all out every minute he's on the court. I'm cheering for his comeback this season.

But, even in Summer League, he couldn't avoid getting injured. I really think the injuries are a result of his all out style of play so what makes him good also makes him injury prone.

FLCeltsFan said...

I really hope some team gives him a chance this season.

Lex said...

Just saw this, FCF. was traveling all week.

Lex said...

I really liked him too.

Needed to get his head on right

Lex said...

Maybe he'll hookup with the cavs so to speak

FLCeltsFan said...

Ha ha you're funny. You really think LeBron wants Delonte around his mama?

FLCeltsFan said...

I think getting married and becoming a dad has helped him more than anything. He seems to have a grip on things from what I heard in an interview with him.

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