LOS ANGELES — Celtics center Kendrick Perkins walked into Staples Center on crutches this afternoon and told reporters he has torn MCL and PCL ligaments in his right knee. The injury ends any chance that Perkins will play in tomorrow’s Finals Game 7 against the Lakers.
“It’s crazy,” said Perkins. “I bang all the time and come out fine, and this time I get hurt. It’s one of those plays you wish you could take back.”
Perkins injured the knee with 5:30 remaining in the first quarter of Game 6, crumpling to the floor after grabbing a rebound. He remained on the floor for several minutes, and as he was helped off the court he was unable to put any weight at all on his right leg.
“We’re not going to do an MRI until we get back,” said Celtics coach Doc Rivers. “Once they did the tests that they did on him and they realized he couldn’t play well, there was no reason to send him to an MRI, too. That will come, and then we’ll make a determination on what we have to do.”
Rivers said initial tests on Perkins showed enough damage to keep him out of tomorrow night’s game. Further tests could reveal an injury that would keep Perkins out for months.
“If I had hurt my knee in December I probably would have missed the remainder of the season,” said Perkins. “So that tells you what it’s like … I don’t want anybody to feel sorry for me. It’s an important game, it’s not about me. It’s about winning the title.”
Rivers said he has not decided who will start in place of Perkins. Rasheed Wallace and Glen Davis are the two options, with the taller Wallace the likely front runner given his length in guarding Lakers center Andrew Bynum.
“They all bring different things to the game,” Celtics captain Paul Pierce said of the team’s big men. “Obviously Perk brings his toughness on defense and rebounding. Rasheed also does the same but he can do a little bit more scoring in the post. Baby, he’s really good at scoring, outside, inside, big banger, rebounding. Just got to take advantage of these guys’ strengths and what they bring to the game.”
Bynum said this afternoon that he will play in Game 7 despite a knee injury that has hampered him all series. He said he hasn’t gotten better, but he hasn’t gotten worse, either. Bynum will undergo treatment this afternoon to reduce swelling and will be limited tomorrow night as he has been in each game this series.
Bynum admitted it was a relief to be done playing basketball after Thursday.
“It’s a relief for everybody,” said Bynum. “We wanted to come back and get that win, and now that it’s Game 7 we’ve got to come back and get what we earned, protect that home court.”