April 7, 2007
Eight is just enough
More injuries push C's to bare minimum
Celtics, league leaders in playing time lost to injury at one point
this season, have reached the stage where booking MRI exams may be
cheaper as a package deal.
This week it was Paul Pierce (left elbow and left foot) and Al Jefferson (right ankle) who visited the doctor's office.
None of the tests produced alarming results.
who will join the team for a two-game road trip starting tonight in
Indianapolis against the Pacers, received good news about the stress
reaction in his foot that forced him to miss 24 straight games earlier
``The foot is good - it's healed,'' Celtics
director of basketball operations Danny Ainge said before last night's
game against Miami at TD Banknorth Garden. ``The foot is structurally
good. And I understand that there's no serious damage to his elbow,
though it still swells up.
``My understanding is that Paul is going on this trip to get some practice time in, so he can evaluate himself.''
practice is where the line likely will be drawn. Pierce is not expected
to play against the Pacers tonight or at Atlanta Tuesday.
meanwhile, didn't have a test done on the knee bruise that kept him out
of last night's game but did have one done on his surgically repaired
right ankle, which has been bothering him since the All-Star break.
pain obviously hasn't hindered his performance; the big man has been on
fire the last six weeks. But in the name of caution, he sat out his
second straight game last night and did not join the team on its flight
to Indianapolis afterward. ``They said the MRI was good,'' Jefferson
said. ``But I'm just taking it day-by-day right now. We're just going to
sit back this weekend and see how it responds.''
the first time, Jefferson expressed uncertainty on whether he'd return
this season. After last night, only seven games remain.
``I'd love to come back and get a couple of games in,'' he said. ``But right now health is most important.''
the Celtics hold the worst record (23-51) in the Eastern Conference and
second worst in the league, there also is the matter of unnecessary
``Kevin McHale played on a broken foot because it
was the playoffs, and he's still paying for that,'' Ainge said. ``So
you have to be careful. It doesn't make a lot of sense to take risks
with the players we have right now.''
The result: With
Delonte West missing last night's game after spraining his ankle in the
third quarter of Wednesday's loss in Milwaukee, the Celtics dressed a
league-minimum eight against the defending NBA champs.
said the team, which received a league waiver to sign Kevinn Pinkney to
a 10-day contract Wednesday, will not sign another player to a 10-day
``One thing you can say is that we've been very
consistent with our injuries this year,'' said coach Doc Rivers, who
added that West may miss tonight's game as well. ``I laugh about it
because you need to laugh sometimes.''
very much like (training) camp right now,'' Rivers said of the quality
of play. ``Where it really hurts you is in practice, when we end up
going four-on-four a lot of times.''