Kendrick Perkins said today that he expects to return in three weeks from the knee injury that he sustained during the NBA Finals last season.
"It's looking like three weeks," Perkins said. "I start practicing next week, so that's a good thing. ... It feels like these three weeks are not going by fast enough, but I guess the six months or whatever went by pretty fast. Just trying to wait it out, see how it goes."
The original estimate on the injury was five to six months, and it appears that Perkins' return will line up with that. He has been playing three-on-three games at this point for the past two days. He said he hasn't had any setbacks or swelling, which he called "weird."
"I do what I can, as much basketball stuff that I can," Perkins said. "I try to get guys after practice to work out with me, play little half court games, just kind of go from there."
Asked how much of his return will be mental, Perkins said, "All of it's mental. I think, honestly, it may take a few games just for me to get my rhythm back, but I think all of it is mental. I believe how much work you put in is what you get out of it, so I try to go hard every day, and basically bust my butt every day. I just think hard work pays off."
He said there hasn't been any nervousness in getting back on the court so far.
And there doesn't appear to be any question in his mind that he'll return as the starter. He estimated it would take maybe a game or two of coming off the bench to regain his rhythm.
"He don't have to talk to me," Perkins said, of Doc Rivers. "Like I always say, I've been with these guys for going on four years. The chemistry that the starting five have, I don't think nobody else can have. We all need each other. We all complement each other in a different way."