Davis returns to practice

WALTHAM, Mass. -- Need a way to gauge the recovery of the fractured right thumb of Celtics forward Glen Davis? Earlier this week, he beat a friend by five touchdowns in Madden 10, the popular football video game.

"That's rehab," joked Davis, who had previously lamented the inability to play video games after injuring himself two days before the start of the season. "I killed my friend, like, 49-14. Uh oh, I'm almost back. If that had been like, 70-14, I'd be ready to play. I'm a real football-minded person. He likes to throw the ball every time, so all I do is play a zone defense. He throws it all over … and it's interception, touchdown!"

Davis made nonvirtual strides in his recovery Thursday, joining the Celtics on the court for portions of a 90-minute session at the Sports Authority Training Center at HealthPoint.

"He caught some passes and shot, ran through the skeleton offense with no contact," said Celtics coach Doc Rivers. "It's the first time he's done anything -- and that was nothing, obviously, but at least he did something."

While his teammates were out on a three-game road trip last week, Davis had a soft cast removed. He admits that, after two-plus months, the thumb feels a bit stiff, and he's still regaining range of motion. But more than anything he's trying to get over the mental hurdle of not worrying about reinjuring the thumb.

"Mentally, you have to be confident in that ligament, that thumb," said Davis. "What I have to do right now is get strong, mentally, using it. To shoot, or when somebody hits you and you have to stay focused, and make sure you don't hurt it again. When I get over that, that's when I'll probably be 100 percent."

Davis pegged his birthday -- Jan. 1 -- as a potential return date (the Celtics host the Raptors on Jan. 2), but admitted he's taking everything slow at his teammates' urging.

"It's a good sign when Baby got the cast off," said Celtics captain Paul Pierce. "For him to come out here and do some stretches with us, he hasn't been able to do that in a while; a couple dummy offensive plays. Slowly, but surely. It's still a long season. We want these guys to be healthy at the right time, and completely healthy."

According to Rivers, Davis will accompany the team on its West Coast road trip later this month.

"You know what that means," said Rivers, setting up his own punchline. "That's more food we have to take on the plane. We're a little concerned about that. No, we're looking forward to him coming. It'll be great for him, No. 1, to be back with the team. We plan on having two practices, so hopefully he can practice with us during that stretch."

Removed from his beloved video games over the past two months, Davis found another hobby: accounting. A month after he jokingly told ESPN the Magazine that he'd one day like to play in the NFL, Baby said he could see himself involved in finance after his basketball career.

"Financially, I've been doing things, learning about some things like annuities and mutual funds," said Davis. "I"m trying to generate more money. I realized not playing basketball, I can't play for a long time. What am I going to do? I'm doing some things. I'm kind of being my own bookkeeper. I've been learning about taxes, too."

And Baby was serious.

"I didn't know my cable bill could be a tax writeoff," said Davis. "NBA TV is part of my research. I didn't know that. That's like, what, a $1,000 every two months? Hell yeah, a business expense."

Chris Forsberg is a roving reporter for ESPNBoston.com. Follow him on Twitter.