Curtis Borchardt is Your Newest Celtic

Curtis Borchardt is Your Newest Celtic

August 14, 2005

New Celtic Curtis Borchardt spent less than 24 hours in Boston late last week, flying in from Los Angeles for a physical at New England Baptist Hospital. His medical records probably weighed more than his overnight bag.

Since his freshman year at Stanford, Borchardt has struggled to stay healthy. He fractured his right foot twice in college, undergoing surgery to repair the second break his sophomore year.

    After his junior year, he left school for the NBA, but before he could begin his rookie season with Utah, Borchardt fractured his right foot again and underwent more surgery, missing the entire year.

Just before the start of his second year, he broke his left hand and missed four weeks. Later in his second season, he suffered a season-ending right wrist fracture. Last year with the Jazz, his right foot swelled up, but a stint on the injured list was all he needed to heal. He suffered some right knee soreness at the end of the season but said that is gone.

With a new offseason strength and conditioning routine, Borchardt believes he will remain injury-free with the Celtics. If he does, and contributes, it will be a bonus for Boston. When the Celtics acquired Borchardt in the Antoine Walker sign-and-trade deal, they seemed more excited about a $5 million trade exception and a pair of second-round picks. Borchardt doesn't mind.

"I've gone into every season kind of the forgotten guy," he said. "It's been the same story for me every season. I do use that as motivation.

"You've just got to work hard and worry about the team. I was very lucky Utah stuck with me through a lot of ups and downs with injury. But it's nice to have a fresh start here in Boston. I'm coming into camp ready to go and earn every minute I can get."

Last season, Borchardt averaged 3.0 points and 3.3 rebounds in 12.8 minutes per game. The 7-footer will have to work his way into a center rotation that includes starter Raef LaFrentz and Mark Blount . Borchardt also looks forward to playing with the young Celtics.

"My rookie year with the Jazz, we were the second-oldest team in the NBA," said Borchardt. "My second year, we were the second-youngest team. We had a great year and it was a real positive experience.

"A young team can go out there and make an identity for itself. There's a more exciting feeling about it."

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