Kendrick Perkins today moved smoothly through the grueling athletic gauntlet that is media day, walking from photographer to reporter to autograph station without a brace on his knee or a limp in his step.
Perkins' prowess in navigating interviews is not likely, however, to get him on the court any faster this season.
"I'm feeling good," said Perkins. "I've got a smile on my face so you know I'm feeling good. I can't tell you what my return date is going to be. I'm a little bit ahead of schedule. I don't want to jinx myself but it's going really well."
Perkins is expected to be out for at least several more months after tearing ligaments in his knee during Game 6 of this year's NBA Finals. The injury kept Perkins out of Game 7 against the Lakers, a game in which the Celtics were severely out-rebounded.
"If I would have played we would have won for sure," said Perkins, sounding more assured than cocky. "By double-figures."
Perkins will have to wait a while to make an impact this season. He was asked about whether or not he was worried that the newly-acquired O'Neals -- Shaquille and Jermaine -- might take his job.
"I really don't want to answer this question because I really dont want to start nothing," said Perkins. "My spot's not up for grabs. When I come back I will be getting my spot, and everybody else just has to adjust to me."
While an intimidating presence on the court, Perkins is an easy-going guy with the media and his teammates. He said he expects no issues with the new big men on his team.
"I kind of approached them in a happy-go-lucky way to let them know that when they're on the other team it's business," said Perkins. "But now that they're on my team, I'm the coolest guy they could be around. I'm gonna support them."