Kendrick Perkins 'Back Probably After The All-Star Break'

Kendrick Perkins, who just underwent "successful" surgery on Monday to repair tears to his ACL, MCL and PCL in his right knee, will not be back on the court for the Celtics "probably after the All-Star break," said GM Danny Ainge Thursday Dennis & Callahan's show. The 2011 NBA All-Star Game is scheduled for Feb. 20.

"It's projected that he'll be back probably after the All-Star break, could be my guess, sometime in mid- to late February," Ainge said. "We'll be very careful with Perk and not be in a rush to get him back, but I guess there's a chance to get him back probably a little earlier, that's probably realistic."

It was originally expected that Perkins would be ready by late December.

This news makes the addition of Jermaine O'Neal suddenly seem like a great move. More Ainge:

What was funny is when this whole process started, everybody knew we needed a center, nobody more so than [Kendrick Perkins]. Perk came into my office and he gave me a couple of names and one of the names was Jermaine O'Neal. That was one of the first things I said to Perk was, "Boy, he had a decent year, but he sure struggled for possession in the playoffs." And Perk said to me, "Don't hold that against him. Every big man plays bad against me." Right on down the line, all the guys on the team agreed that he was the best big man available. He's 31 years old, they played against him, they know Jermaine and I think it was pretty unanimous that he was the guy we would go after.

Expect more reaction at CelticsBlog.

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