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Cavaliers Vs. Celtics: Kendrick Perkins Expects To Return Tonight

Celtics center Kendrick Perkins expects to play on Tuesday night against the Cleveland Cavaliers, marking his return from knee surgery that has kept him sidelined for six, according to Chris Forsberg of ESPN Boston.

Perkins originally targeted February 4th, when the Celtics face the Dallas Mavericks, as his return date. Forsberg wrote that Perkins' had been feeling good for the past week, and asked Celtics head coach Doc Rivers if he could return on Tuesday.

But Perkins looked and felt so good in recent practice sessions that he asked coach Doc Rivers earlier this week if he could play as early as Tuesday's game. Rivers said Monday he wouldn't allow it without clearance from the training staff, but it appears Perkins got the clearance he needed to change his coach's mind.

"I think he wants to [return], but I think we'll keep the timetable," Rivers said after Monday's workout in Waltham. "Honestly, he wanted to play [Tuesday]. He's already approached me about that... The only consideration is when [team trainer] Eddie [Lacerte] and [team physician] Dr. [Brian] McKeon say, 'You can play him.' I'm not going to listen to Perk, I can tell you that." (via ESPN Boston)

Perkins' return is certainly good news for the Celtics, who are without the services of injured big men Shaquille O'Neal and Jermaine O'Neal.

In seven seasons with the Celtics, Perkins is averaging 6.4 points, six rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game.