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Kevin Garnett returns to lineup with no restrictions

01.17.11 at 7:55 pm ET
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Kevin Garnett is ready to get back on the court after his right calf injury Dec. 29.

Kevin Garnett will make his return to the lineup against the Orlando Magic Monday night and he will not have a minutes restriction in his first game since injuring his right calf against the Pistons on Dec. 29. “He’s pretty much free to play,” Celtics coach Doc Rivers said before the game.

The Celtics had contemplated bringing Garnett back last Friday after he went through most of a practice the day before. But they ultimately decided to give him the weekend to make sure everything felt 100 percent. “He had a practice before the other night where he probably could have played, but we were going to bring him back if he was right,” Rivers said. “So he’s pretty much free to play now.”

Rivers said he wouldn’t shy away from playing Garnett against Dwight Howard, although they typically don’t use that strategy until late in games to avoid getting Garnett in foul trouble.

Several other injured Celtics players are also in the lineup including Shaquille O’Neal, who slipped on ice getting to practice Sunday and Marquis Daniels who had to sit out most of practice after taking a hard screen from Kendrick Perkins.

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