Perkins out for Game 7 with knee injury
LOS ANGELES – Kendrick Perkins(notes) arrived at practice on a pair of tall crutches with his right knee wrapped, immediately ending any speculation whether the Boston Celtics’ injured center could make a miraculous return for the seventh game of the NBA Finals.
Perkins confirmed what Yahoo! Sports first reported Tuesday evening: He won’t play in the Finals’ decisive game after tearing his medial collateral ligament and partially tearing his posterior cruciate ligament. Perkins, who was hurt after landing awkwardly in the first quarter of Game 6, will receive an MRI on his right knee Friday in Boston. He doesn’t know when he’ll be back on the court and will miss USA Basketball’s minicamp this summer. Doctors told Perkins if he had suffered the injury in December, he would have missed the remainder of the season.
“I have to watch from the sideline,” Perkins said. “I’d be lying if I told ya’ll it didn’t hurt, but it hurts. Game 7 of the Finals, Game 6 of the Finals, you really couldn’t help your team. I’m trying to encourage guys to play better and play well. I’ll probably never get this opportunity again. Physically, I’m doing better than I am mentally.”
Perkins averaged seven points and 6.8 rebounds in the first five games of the Finals. Celtics coach Doc Rivers said he had yet to decide whether to start forward Glen Davis(notes) or Rasheed Wallace(notes) in place of Perkins. Davis started the second half of Game 6. Boston is also expected to activate forward Brian Scalabrine(notes).
“It’s like I told our guys this morning, somebody has a great opportunity tomorrow,” Rivers said. “And that’s the way we have to look at it.”
Los Angeles Lakers center Andrew Bynum(notes) woke up with stiffness and pain in his right knee Wednesday, but plans to play as many minutes as possible in Game 7. He’ll undergo surgery after the season to repair a cartilage tear in the knee.
“It’s the last game,” Bynum said. “I just got to go out and give the best effort.”