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OAKLAND, Calif. - While a shoulder injury is always a concern for Kendrick Perkins, the Celtics center said his latest one is "nothing serious."

Perkins missed last night's game against Golden State because of a sprained left shoulder. The 6-foot-10-inch, 264-pound Perkins suffered the injury during the first quarter of a Christmas Day loss to the Lakers and opted not to play after waking up with an "extra sore" shoulder. While Perkins is listed as day to day, he expects to return to action tomorrow at Sacramento.

"I'm just going off feel right now," said Perkins, who played in Boston's first 30 games. "I probably could play if it was the playoffs or something. It's a back-to-back. I just felt like I needed to have a few days to rest. It's a little sore more than anything. It's nothing serious."

Perkins said he returned to action two months earlier than the expected five months following left shoulder surgery, but hasn't had any issues. Perkins had arthroscopic surgery July 2 to repair the shoulder that hampered him during the NBA Finals and caused him to miss Game 5. It was the second shoulder operation of Perkins's Celtics career.

"It just kind of spasmed up on me," Perkins said. "That's expected. The doctor said I wasn't all the way cleared. It's been five months. I came back in three. He said it was expected. Sometimes you get hit and you just got to fight through it. It ain't nothing that is going to hurt now. I'm just icing it for precaution."

Perkins is still rehabbing his shoulder during the season with weight training and exercises.

"I have to make sure I take care of it all season," Perkins said. "I can't take any days off."

Holiday homecoming

When the Celtics' schedule was released, Leon Powe was initially disappointed that his homecoming game was the end of a back-to-back sequence. But the Oakland native also got an unexpected opportunity to spend two days with family and friends over Christmas.

The Celtics played the Lakers Christmas Day, and arrived at their next destination, San Francisco, that evening. From the team's hotel, Powe drove across the Bay Bridge to Oakland and Richmond to visit with family and friends. The Celtics stayed in San Francisco after playing Golden State last night, giving Powe more time at home before the team travels to Sacramento today.

"It means everything to me," Powe said. "I look forward to this trip always. I get to see my family and friends, especially my brothers and sisters. They're always watching every game. They don't get to see me a lot [during the season]. It's just a blessing to me to get to see them and spend some time with them.

"I didn't think I was going to get to be there that long. But I got a little leeway in the time schedule. I was happy about that because I was going to get to see my little brothers and sisters and spend time with my family and friends."

Powe entered last night's game averaging 6.9 points and 3.8 rebounds. The 6-foot-9-inch, 240-pounder will be an unrestricted free agent next summer.

When asked if his friends and family in the Bay Area ask him about playing for the Warriors, Powe smiled before saying: "No. They're happy with the team I'm on and whatever team I'm playing for."

O'Bryant improving

While center Patrick O'Bryant still isn't playing much in his first year as a Celtic, he is more accepting of his situation with Boston than he was with Golden State.

O'Bryant was selected by the Warriors with the ninth overall pick in the 2006 draft, but he rarely played during his two seasons with Golden State. Warriors executive vice president of Basketball operations Chris Mullin felt O'Bryant needed to dramatically improve his work ethic, and let the 7-footer become a free agent last summer.

"You always want to do well when you leave," O'Bryant said. "Especially since it wasn't a great two years that I spent there ... I wish I could've played more, plain and simple. I may have messed up some opportunities. I can't always say I didn't have opportunities."

The Celtics signed O'Bryant to a two-year, $3 million contract but he has played sparingly, averaging 1.8 points and 1.3 rebounds in 12 games entering last night's contest. But the fact the Celtics have such talented big men in front of him makes riding the bench for the defending NBA champs easier to deal with.

"There are three Hall of Famers," said O'Bryant. "You have two other guys that should be in the All-Star hunt. You got a championship second team. It's a hard rotation to crack ... It's great. I'm on a team that [has the NBA's top record]. It's a great feeling to be on a winning team."

Assistant coach Clifford Ray, a former Warriors star, has been working with O'Bryant. Ray has helped the careers of other big men, such as Perkins, Powe, Glen Davis, and Orlando All-Star Dwight Howard.

High marks

Thursday's NBA Finals rematch on ABC earned a 5.3 national rating, according to the network, the highest-rated regular-season NBA game in four years. Boston was the top market with a 12.2 rating, while Los Angeles was 11.8.

Author: Fox Sports
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Added: December 30, 2008


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