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Garnett sent home for treatment

Posted by Frank Dell'Apa, Globe Staff  April 14, 2009 12:49 PM

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The next time Kevin Garnett plays for the Celtics, it could be against Philadelphia -- in the first round of the NBA playoffs.

Garnett (right knee) will miss tonight's game against the Sixers and Wednesday's regular-season finale against Washington in Boston.

The Sixers are in seventh place in the Eastern Conference and could be the Celtics' opponent when the playoffs start Saturday.Were the playoffs to start now, Garnett would likely be in the lineup, according to coach Doc Rivers.

Garnett returned to Boston Monday night after traveling with the team to Cleveland (107-76 loss Sunday) and Philadelphia.

"He can get better treatment back home than he can here, so we said get back home and get proper treatment," Rivers said after a morning shootaround.

Factors involved in the decision to send Garnett home included "our performance in Cleveland, our focus, and not a lot to play for," Rivers said. "I'm thinking if he's going to be healthy let's go through the two practices [Thursday and Friday] and put him on the floor."

Asked if Garnett's situation would have changed were the Celtics still competing for a playoff position, Rivers replied: "It may have [changed]. But we're not, so we don't have to worry about it. I do think he needs more time -- where Leon [Powe] is ready now, Kevin does need more time to get ready. If this was a big game could Kevin play tonight? He probably could, but we're not sure -- the fact that we're not sure, I think we should wait."

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