The Thunder paid a pretty hefty price to get the big man they’ve always wanted. But they’ll have to wait a while before they get to see what he can give them.
Center Kendrick Perkins will miss two to three weeks with an MCL sprain according to Thunder coach Scott Brooks. Perkins injured the knee against the Golden State Warriors while he was still a member of the Boston Celtics.
The sprain is on his left knee, which isn’t the knee he had major reconstructive surgery following the NBA Finals last June. Previously, Celtics general manager Danny Ainge said Perkins would miss “a week or so” with the knee injury, but evidently the Thunder’s being a bit more cautious with their new acquisition.
Perkins has only played 12 games so far this season and hasn’t shown any signs of his injured knee bothering him. So this MCL sprain is likely not a big deal, but more just playing things on the safe side. Keep in mind, this Thunder medical staff likes to play things on the side of extreme caution (Tyson Chandler cough cough) so I wouldn’t worry about it. Perkins passed his physical and is entirely fine. If there was anything to actually worry about, Perkins wouldn’t have been formerly introduced.
The earliest Perkins could return according to the timetable would be March 13 against the Cavs. That would give him a month of action with the Thunder and 19 games. It’s worth the wait, trust me.
As evidenced by Dwight Howard pounding Oklahoma City Friday night for 40 points and 15 rebounds, the Thunder could definitely use the help now thoug. They are still getting the services of 6-10 center Nazr Mohammed, which will help. With that, rookie Cole Aldrich will also have a chance to play some rotation minutes as well as Nick Collison. But they’ll be shorthanded on the inside without Perkins and on top of that, that’s more time before the team gets to get on the floor and play together.
The Thunder didn’t get Perkins for the next two weeks though, so it’s really nothing more than just kind of a buzzkill. OKC fans are anxious to see the elusive big man they finally got and the guy that was worth giving up Jeff Green for. Plus there is some mild anxiety about Perkins’ health, so this makes things a little more uncomfortable. But for everyone already saying, “Looks like Boston knew what it was doing,” there isn’t anything to worry over. You really think the Thunder would follow through with this thing if Perkins’ health was actually a concern? I mean, you realize Sam Presti runs this organization, right?
In terms of good news, Perkins said at his introductory press conference that he likes the Thunder a lot and even asked his agent about coming to Oklahoma City as a free agent. So that’s at least something good to come from Saturday’s press conference, even if the injury news is a bit of a bummer.
Against the Lakers Sunday, OKC’s probable starting five is still Westbrook, Thabo, Durant, Collison and Ibaka.