BOSTON (CBS) – After missing the last seven games with inflammation in his left ankle, Boston Celtics forward Kevin Garnett could return to action this weekend.

“I think he’ll be back, maybe as early as Sunday, but I don’t know yet,” head coach Doc Rivers said at the Celtics practice facility on Thursday. “He’s not going to do anything today. He’s doing all the running and stuff and he’ll do some court stuff without the team. And he’ll probably participate in the shoot-around (on Friday), but I’m not going to play him (Friday night against the Cavaliers), even if he wants to play.”

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Garnett originally injured his ankle March 20 in a loss to the New Orleans Hornets. He played two nights later in a loss to the Dallas Mavericks, but has been shut down since. Over that seven-game stretch, the Celtics have gone 3-4.

The Celtics host the Washington Wizards on Sunday, and have the following two nights off before hosting the Brooklyn Nets. With only seven games left in the regular season, Rivers would like to let his defensive leader get a few games under his belt before the playoffs start, but will still have to balance what is more important: rest or rhythm.

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In 65 games this season, Garnett has averaged 14.9 points and 7.8 rebounds per game.