Kevin McHale underwent successful surgery on his left ankle yesterday at New England Baptist Hospital and should be ready for the opening of training camp, the team announced.
Team physician Arnold Scheller removed a bone spur and cleaned up ligament damage in the ankle joint. McHale suffered a severe ankle sprain Feb. 12 and never fully recovered. He missed 14 games because of the injury, eight after it happened and six later because of complications.
McHale was able to leave the hospital after the operation, and rehabilitation will begin shortly, the team said. Training camp opens in October.
The primary reason McHale waited until mid-July to have the operation was to have some time to enjoy the summer, play golf, fish, and simply unwind after a debilitating season. He allowed sufficient time for rehab, so there is ample wiggle room to be ready for camp.
Of course, yesterday's operation relieves him of any responsibility to ply his trade at rookie camp, which he willingly did last year.
There was some thought that he waited until there had been an agreement on his contract extension, but general manager Jan Volk said yesterday, "When we have something to announce, we'll announce it."
The Celtics did announce the roster for this weekend's rookie/free agent camp at Babson College. They expect 18 players, along with five returnees, to be in attendance.
The camp opens Saturday night and there are two-a-days scheduled through Tuesday night. After that, a team will be selected to participate in the Los Angeles Summer League.
The Celtics included Rick Fox, their No. 1 draft pick, on the list. He will be available for the Saturday and Sunday sessions and then return to summer school at North Carolina on Monday.
"I'm really excited and looking forward to getting going," Fox said yesterday. "Right now, I'm going to school from 9 to 1 and then working out and playing basketball. I'll be there Saturday night and Sunday morning and night to get an idea of how theCeltics do things."
Fox said he'd finish classes in time to join the Celtics' contingent at the LA Summer League for the final four games. Fox and Dave Popson have been told they'll be chosen for the team, which can include three veterans.
Among current Celtics, Joe Kleine, Ed Pinckney, Dee Brown and Stojko Vrankovic are scheduled to attend the camp. Vrankovic only recently arrived in Boston after being unable to get a flight out of strife-torn Yugoslavia. Popson, who last week attended a rookie camp with Atlanta, also is scheduled. He is not under contract for 1991-92.
In addition, two players with NBA experience, veteran guard Mike Woodson and swingman Pete Myers, are on the list, as is former Syracuse star Stevie Thompson, who played in the Continental Basketball Association last season.
Among the most intriguing newcomers is Anderson Hunt of UNLV, who last week was at the Bullets' camp. He was the only member of Vegas' starting five not selected in last month's NBA draft. Other well-known players include Ohio State's Perry Carter, Alabama's Melvin Cheatum, Kentucky's Reggie Hanson, Virginia's John Crotty and Maryland's Cedric Lewis.
The night sessions are open to the public. On Saturday and Sunday, sessions start at 7 p.m. The time shifts to 7:30 p.m. for Monday and Tuesday. Tickets are $ 5 and are available at the Babson Recreation Center.