BOSTON -- Celtics reserve guard Delonte West departed Wednesday's 89-83 win against the New Jersey Nets with a broken right wrist sustained while crashing hard to the floor following a driving layup with 2:47 to play in the first half.
West drove past New Jersey's Travis Outlaw for a left-handed layup but spilled hard to the ground, absorbing the impact with his right wrist, which buckled on impact. West immediately grabbed at the wrist while writhing on the floor in pain. After the Celtics committed a foul to stop play, West was attended to by trainer Ed Lacerte as teammates gathered around him.
West walked off the court under his own power, escorted by Lacerte and team doctor Brian McKeon, while keeping the injured wrist close to his body.
"It's broken for sure," said Celtics coach Doc Rivers. "I don't know anything else more than that -- a compound fracture, most likely. But that's going to be a long time, let's just put it that way."
Captain Paul Pierce knew it was bad from the moment West hit the floor.
"I knew he was hurt because I know Delonte, just from being around him, and the kind of person he is," said Pierce. "He's sort of a guy that, if he's injured, you are going to know when he's injured because he's going to get right back up 99 percent of the time. So when he laid there and I saw the look on his face I knew it was bad."
Rivers said he hopes to get West back in time for the playoffs, but Shaquille O'Neal took a more optimistic outlook.
"I'm not a doctor, but I'm going to say he's probably going to be out three months," said O'Neal, who was a teammate with West last season in Cleveland. "Luckily it's in his non-shooting hand and he's a tough kid, he'll probably want to come back next week and play. But it will probably be three months, right after the All-Star break, everybody will be back -- big [Kendrick Perkins] will be back, [West will] be back, and we'll be ready to go."
Celtics president Danny Ainge told the Boston Globe he has enough confidence in the remaining roster to stand pat and not pursue another point guard.
"We like our guys," Ainge said by phone late Wednesday night. "Avery [Bradley] is starting to get going. Avery and Von [Wafer] are going to have to step up and play."
West missed the first 10 games of the season due to suspension and is facing a lengthy absence due to the wrist injury, though the team announced no immediate timetable. West broke the same wrist in January 2009 and missed 16 games as a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers.
West made five appearances since serving his suspension. He was a vital piece the past three games with point guard Rajon Rondo sidelined due to a strained left hamstring.
"It's tough losing Delonte," said Kevin Garnett. "It's tough losing anybody, but just seeing this transition and where he's at and the work he's put in. And then having to be responsible and sit down for a minute [due to suspension], come back and give us a huge lift, especially with Rondo out, and then to lose him -- it's tough."
Chris Forsberg covers the Celtics for ESPNBoston.com.