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Just How Hurt Was Paul Pierce Last Year?

 

If there’s one writer out there that carries the clout to get these C’s to open up, it’s Jackie MacMullan. This time she has a great piece over for ESPN Boston that gets in-depth with the C’s Captain. Just how hurt was Pierce last year? And how good is he feeling now?

The 2009-10 campaign was so physically and mentally challenging for Pierce that he seriously contemplated shutting it down midway through the season. Injuries to his knee, foot and thumb were well documented, but Pierce revealed he also suffered from a painful and persistent turf toe that forced him to wear a brace and a half-inch of padding in his shoe throughout the Finals.

The first sign of trouble was a sore knee that wouldn’t respond to treatment and forced Pierce to undergo “minor” surgery last Dec. 23 to clean out an infection. Doctors warned him that fluid would build up in the repaired knee, but Pierce wasn’t expecting to have it drained nearly every week. Sometimes, Pierce said, the knee would “pop open,” squirting foul liquid across the locker room.

“If you are interested, I have the video to prove it,” he said.

It happened moments before the Celtics took the court for a Jan. 29 game at Atlanta, and, to the horror of his teammates, Pierce cleaned himself (and his uniform) up to the best of his ability, then went out and dropped 35 points on the Hawks in a team-high 37 minutes.

And so it went for the next three months, as Pierce’s “geyser” knee often erupted without warning. The release of the fluid helped the flexibility in the joint, but also prevented him from rehabilitating the injury properly.

“I was probably a little stubborn about not letting it heal right,” Pierce admitted. “I told them I was fine, but I had this fluid leaking out all over the place. It wasn’t so much the pain. I just lost all my strength. I played a lot of last season on basically one leg.”

Looking for good news about Pierce? Try this quote:

“I feel great for the first time in a long time,” the Celtics captain said.

The fact that he is finally healthy — “that didn’t happen until the summer,” Pierce explained — and Kevin Garnett has fully recovered from knee surgery are two reasons why Pierce likes Boston’s chances as the team opens its season Tuesday against the locked-and-loaded Miami Heat.

One more days folks…..one more day.

  • BunkerHillG

    Gotta love the Captain!

  • Scott

    I am interested to see how aggressive Paul is at taking it to the basket. I think this team is going to shoot the most free throws in the league, considering who we have on down low, and considering how much Rondo, Nate, and Delonte are going to drive to the basket in order to create. ESPECIALLY considering Boston wants to run the offense from the inside out. What interests me is if Paul drives to the basket like he did until he started getting hurt last year, we might make our living at the line. Paul attacking the basket is my favorite offensive weapon (other than a Ray Allen jumper) and the thing that bugged me about Paul's iso last year in the finals was not that he was iso-ing but that they all ended in jumpers. Not that Paul can't shoot – he can, but he is a much better offensive player when he takes it to the whole. The key to our offense will be paul getting to the basket and to the line. The defense will have to cave, and our perimeter guys (Ray/Wafer) will be getting shot after shot if the layup isn't there.

    Very excited for the season to start – cannot stop watching highlights from years past. Go Green.

    • Perry

      Good things also happen when PP is rebounding the ball … if Quis stays healthy and shows as well in the regular season as he just did in the pre season we're going to see vintage PP.

  • kobeshesnotconsentin

    We're winnin two titles in a row. Simple and plain. End of discussion.

  • lakerhater13

    Like I said when James signed with Miami. Now we can knock off Wade and James in one round. Sounds fun to me. Miami is built to win a lot of games during the regular season. Once the playoffs start I dont see them beating Atlanta, Orlando, or Chicago. If the end up playing Boston i think we are just way too deep for them. In the off season they need to get a decent center with the mid level and then they will have a shot at winning. Miami looked ok in the preseason. I think lebron and bosh play well together. If they can trade Wade for a real good center and a good spot up shooter they might have a chance this year. I dont see Wade and Lebron playing great together. They are both good scorers not good shooters. Pierce and Allen play so well together because one is a great scorer and the other a great shooter. Plus they have a great PG. Miami will struggle until they put the rest of the pieces they need around the superfriends.

  • JP-

    I think the Heat can take Atlanta in the playoffs, the Hawks don't inspire much confidence. Wade and James can play together, they did it in the olympics. I don't know how well it will work out with better competition, hopefully not as well. There have been articles about LeBron acting like he is back in Cleveland, dominating the ball, going 1 on 5. I hope this happens because it never worked in Cleveland and won't work in Miami. I just hope he doesn't realize it.

  • Batman

    His knee popped open to the horror of his teammates?
    That must have been an extremely interesting experience

  • John (in Lakersland)

    wait… another excuse? come on… enough already.

    • koolaid

      no excuses. lakers won fair and square.

      but speaking of knees and lakers. classy organization ruining bynum's career for a ring… the team told him he couldn't make the injury worse by playing (yeah, sure). lets see if he feels used and abused when the fake-show doesn't reup his contract and he'll be out of the league with a hamburger knee at age 24.

      • John (in Lakersland)

        By all accounts, Phil wanted Bynum out of the lineup as he felt Lakers can win without him. Bynum wanted to earn the respect of his teammates and chose to play. That's what a lot of the Lakers radio guys reported here in LA. As for the contract? They gave an unproved 21 year old $14M/year. That's fake? I'll take Fake anyday. No, that's Yankees' business model: not always intelligent, but wins championships at a higher rate than anyone else.

        • koolaid

          bynum definitely sacrificed to be there for the team… hats off to him on that, they wouldn't have got it done without him. and i'm glad to hear phil wasn't pushing him.

          all i'm saying is that there's no way playing last year wasn't cutting his career short…. i hope he puts some money away cause i don't think he'll see another major contract.

  • koolaid

    after the wheelchair incident i can never take pierce seriously regarding injury talk. that said, he has looked very lean and mean in the preseason…. much better and fitter than last year.

    ONE-MORE-DAY

  • I_Love_Green

    I'm gettin giddy boys.

  • moxie

    I kind of do wanna see the video of his geyser knee. And the other guys' reactions.

  • Morpheus

    PP is a warrior

  • torpid bunny

    It was obvious in the spring that PP was cooked. That's the main reason I totally gave up on them in April. I frankly don't know why he was playing at all for much of the second half of the season. He had absolutely no quickness, no leg strength.

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