Is there a more misleading word in sports reporting right now than “indefinitely”? When you read the headline that says “Boston’s Paul Pierce Out Indefinitely With Thumb Injury,” your first thought is, “What? Did he break it or something?”
Indefinitely, after all, means that the team has no idea when he will come back. And that’s technically accurate, since the Celtics don’t know exactly when Pierce will be back, according to ESPNBoston.com:
Boston Celtics guard Paul Pierce is out indefinitely with a right thumb injury and did not even come to the TD Garden Tuesday night for a game against the New York Knicks as he also has the flu, according to Celtics coach Doc Rivers.
Of course, he’s still listed as “day-to-day,” because the injury is not serious. All “indefinitely” means in this context is that the C’s will give Pierce as many games off as he needs, according to Doc Rivers:
“Oh yeah, I’m comfortable with any of our guys being out, I’ve gotten used to it,” joked Rivers. “It’s not what you want, but, listen, we went 3-1 [on a recent four-game road trip] without Paul giving us much of anything because of his health. We can win without him…”
I move to eliminate the use of “indefinitely” in the context of a day-to-day injury that keep a player out a day or a week. The word should be used when someone breaks their leg, needs to tend to his family (i.e. Allen Iverson right now) or has some sort of non-athletic medical problem to deal with.
So: Pierce is day-to-day. Move along.