LOS ANGELES — Vince Carter is probably no more than a week away from making his Suns debut.
“He’s close,” Phoenix coach Alvin Gentry said Sunday. “Probably within the week, I would think. Just not feeling quite there, but a lot closer than he was.”
Carter is dealing with a quad tendon strain and hasn’t played since Dec. 14. The Suns traded for Carter, along with Marcin Gortat and Mickael Pietrus, on Dec. 14 from Orlando. Gentry said speculation of Carter needing surgery was a “worst-case scenario.”
“We always brag on our medical guys and they do a great job,” said Gentry, who could use another scorer in the lineup. “The treatment that they’re given him, he feels a lot better now. Given another three days, five fays, a week, I think he’ll get to the point where he’ll be able to play.”
After facing the Clippers on Sunday, Phoenix plays Wednesday (Philadelphia), Friday (Detroit) and Sunday (Sacramento).
Carter was taking part in some pregame stretching exercises in the locker room with the Suns’ renowned training staff. Head trainer Aaron Nelson and his team have been credited for helping Shaquille O’Neal get back on track health-wise a couple of years back, and for keeping graybeards Grant Hill and Steve Nash in top working order.