BOSTON (CBS) – The Boston Celtics have been waiting for this day for nearly seven months.

Guard Avery Bradley was cleared for contact and rejoined the Celtics at their 90-minute practice session in Chicago on Monday. It was Bradley’s first practice since going down with a shoulder injury during last year’s playoffs.

“I’m just excited. Hopefully there are no setbacks,” Bradley told reporters prior to hitting the floor on Monday, via CSNNE’s A. Sherrod Blakely.

Bradley had been sidelined since Boston’s playoff series against the Philadelphia 76ers, and required two separate shoulder surgeries over the off-season. He emerged mid-way through the 2012 season, taking over for the injured Ray Allen in the Celtics starting lineup.

The defensive-minded guard had a mid-December return to practice in mind, and if all goes well Bradley should return to game action early in the new year.

Bradley averaged 7.6 points on 50-percent shooting in 64 games in 2012.