Tony Allen on the Mend

November 18, 2005
WALTHAM Tony Allen, the second-year Celtics guard who has not played this season while recovering from surgery on his right knee, said yesterday he expects to return to practice within a week.

Allen said he will be medically cleared to work out with the Celtics by Wednesday, though the team likely will not shoot around that morning in Atlanta before the second of back-to-back road games. He could take part in a strenuous workout with a few of teammates then, but he probably will have to wait until Saturday to test himself in a full practice. 

If Allen feels any pain in the knee, he will not hesitate to wait another week before attempting to practice again.

Allen probably will not play in a game until early to mid-December. His conditioning routine essentially has been limited to time on a stationary bike since undergoing surgery Sept. 13, and he must play his way back into the rotation.

Allen worked up a sweat yesterday shooting 3-pointers. But the biggest question remains how his knee will respond to the stresses of lateral movement.

"My comeback date is on the 23d," said Allen. "I'm just coming to see how I can maneuver in practice and stuff like that. Once the doctor OKs me, I can do full practice. I'm just going to go hard on Nov. 23 and see how I feel from there. It's a little quicker [than I thought originally]. . . .

"I ain't going to rush back into it, but just take it day by day and see what I can do in practice."

When Allen addressed his health, it was the first time he had spoken publicly since a Cook County grand jury indicted him on three counts of aggravated battery Tuesday for his alleged role in a fight that escalated into a shooting at the White Palace Grill in the West Loop Aug. 28. He expects to plead not guilty at a Dec. 6 arraignment in Chicago. Aggravated battery carries a maximum penalty of five years in jail.

Understandably, Allen prefers to keep his focus on basketball.

"I'm just letting my lawyer and the Lord take care of all that right now," said Allen. "That ain't even my concern right now. My concern is trying to come back to help the Celtics win some games and do whatever I can do to help. My main focus right now is basketball and I'll just keep it like that."

Allen said he has been told nothing about the possibility of a rehabilitation assignment with the Florida Flame, the Celtics' affiliate in the NBA Developmental League. He expects to take care of all his rehabilitation needs in Boston or on the road with the team.

When asked if he thought the Celtics missed him, Allen said, "Not necessarily miss me, but I know I can bring more attributes to the team, like energy, excitement, defense. That's just what I bring to the team, a little more of a spark plug that can give us a boost."

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