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