Celtics guard Avery Bradley has missed the team's first 30 games after undergoing offseason shoulder surgery. (Brian Babineau/Getty Images)
After offseason surgery on both shoulders, Boston Celtics guard Avery Bradley is scheduled to make his return to action on Wednesday night when the team faces the Grizzlies in Memphis.
Bradley has been out since Boston's Eastern Conference semifinal series against the Sixers in May. The Celtics have struggled in his absence, including losses in seven of their last nine games to drop their record to 14-16.
Head coach Doc Rivers said that Bradley could be immediately inserted into the starting lineup, depending on how he looks in practice and whether point guard Rajon Rondo, who is listed as questionable with a hip bruise, is available. The team also considered having Bradley start the season in the D-League.
"We're just going by how our practice looks. If [Bradley] looks ready to start, he’ll start, he’s a starter," Rivers said, according to ESPN.com's Chris Forsberg. "But if he doesn’t, we’ll wait."
Bradley, entering his third season at just 22 years old, has been touted for his defensive ability, something the Celtics need after dropping from second in defensive efficiency last season to 13th so far this season.
Many have pegged Bradley as a potential savior for a struggling Boston squad that's lost its familiar brand of defense. Bradley will aid the search for defensive consistency, but he again downplayed his ability to individually right this ship.
"I try not to worry about [expectations]," said Bradley. "All you can do is go out there and play hard and that's what I'm going to do. That's all I know, that's how I play. So just go out there and leave everything out on the floor and tomorrow that's what you guys will see."