This summer was more of the same for Kendrick Perkins, which unfortunately meant more rehab.
As a member of the Boston Celtics in the summer of 2010, Perkins recovered from ligament reconstruction and meniscus repair on his right knee.
Last summer, after being traded to the Thunder the previous February, he recovered from a sprained MCL in his left knee that occurred days before the trade.
This summer, Perkins had surgery to his right groin on July 12 and surgery to repair a ligament tear in his left wrist on July 20.
Perkins wore a brace on his wrist Wednesday while participating in a Thunder Fit clinic at Deer Creek Middle School with rookie teammates Perry Jones and Hollis Thompson.
Perkins said he has no specific timetable as to when he might be fully recovered, but he has targeted the regular-season opener on Nov. 1 at San Antonio.
“Everything's going great,” the well-humored Perkins told reporters after the clinic. “I can't complain … well, I can because of these injuries, but I'm going to just keep pushing through it.”
Perkins said this summer's injuries were “more nagging than anything. My groin's fine. I'm getting better with my wrist, so we're just taking it day-by-day. One day you'll wake up and feel good, the next day you won't, so it's hard to say with the wrist. It's a three-month healing process (with the wrist). Thursday will make eight weeks for me.”
Last summer, the 6-foot-10 Perkins lost 30-plus pounds while rehabbing his knees. This summer, he has held steady at around 265 pounds. Perkins said he routinely spent Tuesdays through Fridays at the Thunder practice facility and Fridays through Mondays back home in Houston.
“Well, I couldn't help it,” Perkins said of maintaining his weight, crediting the Thunder's medical staff of Donnie Strack, Joe Sharpe and Dwight Daub. “They're going to make sure you're in the best shape, so I couldn't help but be in great shape.”
Despite the groin and wrist injuries, which both occurred in the postseason, Perkins remained in the lineup and didn't miss a single start.
“I didn't know my hand was that serious,” said Perkins, who is 27 years old and already entering his 10th NBA season. “I just tried to fight through it. I'm a guy that says, ‘Man, if I'm out there on the court, there's no excuses.'”
HOLDING ON TO HARDEN
Negotiations continue between Thunder general manager Sam Presti and shooting guard James Harden on a four-year contract extension that would commence next season.
If Harden does not sign by Oct. 31, he will become a restricted free agent on July 1 of next year and is free to negotiate with any team. OKC must match any team's offer to retain Harden.
Thunder power forward Serge Ibaka agreed to a four-year, $49 million extension on Aug. 18, which will limit what the Thunder can pay Harden without the team paying NBA luxury tax.
Asked if he would reach out the Harden and try to convince him to stay, Perkins said things might simply fall into place once Harden rejoins the Thunder for training camp.
“The thing is, once James gets here, there's nothing to be said,” Perkins said. “He'll see his family and that's all he'll need. He just needs to be here, so once he sees everybody's faces, that's enough said.”
WHAT TO EXPECT
With the departures of unrestricted free agents Derek Fisher (five world championship rings) and Nazr Mohammed (one), Perkins is now the only player on the OKC roster to win a title, doing so in 2008 with the Celtics.
Teammates will continue to look toward him for guidance, but Perkins said Thunder players learned plenty on their own by advancing to last year's NBA Finals.
“Now we know what to expect, so there's less talking and more playing,” Perkins said, scowling. “We know what it takes, we know that it takes the little things and we'll be ready. We're also pumped up about Eric (Maynor) coming back.”
Maynor tore his right ACL on Jan. 7 at Houston and missed the remainder of the season.
“I don't know if you've all seen him, but he's more athletic," Perkins said of the Thunder's reliable backup point guard. “I've seen him dunk the other day for the first time since I've been here, and it's looking good. I don't like to boast and brag about what we've got going on, but you'll see.”
THUNDER SIGNS TWO
The Thunder signed guards DeAndre Liggins and Andy Rautins to contracts.
The 6-foot-6, 209-pound Liggins played 17 games last season with the Orlando Magic and averaged of 1.9 points and 0.9 rebounds in 6.8 minutes. The Magic selected Liggins, a Kentucky product, in the second round (No. 53 overall) of the 2011 NBA Draft.
The 6-4, 190-pound Rautins, who played collegiately at Syracuse, was a second-round pick of the New York Knicks in 2010 (No. 38 overall) and spent last season playing in Spain for Lucentum Alicante, where he appeared in 17 games and averaged 7.3 points, 1.8 rebounds and 1.2 assists in 15.4 minutes.