C's eye Sunday return for KG

WALTHAM, Mass. -- Celtics coach Doc River said prior to Thursday's practice that forward Kevin Garnett is seeing improvement in his injured left ankle and could return to action as early as Sunday's game against the Washington Wizards.

"I think he'll be back, maybe as early as Sunday, but I don't know yet," Rivers said. "He's not going to do anything (Thursday). He's doing all the running and stuff in (the weight room) and he'll do some court stuff without the team. And he'll probably participate in shootaround (Friday), but I'm not going to play him (Friday), even if he wants to play."

Garnett has missed the last seven games due to inflammation in his left ankle, which he originally injured in a March 20 loss to the New Orleans Hornets.

Garnett was spotted at the team's practice facility Thursday, exiting the training room to participate in a brief ceremony in which the Celtics honored members of the United States Air Force. Garnett was not wearing a walking boot or any other kind of protective gear.

Pressed if Garnett's condition was indeed improving, Rivers said: "Yeah, he feels good."