The entire training camp roster was on the floor for the session, minus All-Star Paul Pierce, who has sat out practice for much of the past week with a sore right heel.
Pierce will miss the preseason contest tomorrow night, and with the season opener rapidly approaching on Sunday afternoon, Doc Rivers is beginning to show some concern about the possibility of Pierce missing regular season time.
“I am concerned, not long term—-but short term. We have those two games right off the bat. He’s only gone one practice, that’s basically it, so yeah, I’m concerned about it.”
Rivers also told reporters Pierce tried some drills on it yesterday during the team’s off day, but did not feel well on it today.
“He went real hard yesterday, and it just got real sore,” Rivers explained. “He felt good at first and we told him to go out and work, so he did some one-on-one stuff with some of the guys and his foot was extremely sore today.”
With the Celtics facing two elite opponents out of the gate in New York and Miami, Rivers and the training staff face a catch-22 with Pierce’s status as they try to balance starting the season on a positive note and making sure there are no lingering symptoms for Pierce this season.
“We just want the rest for him. The problem with that is, there will be a lot of rest and he may be ready., but no with no play or practice that’s scary.” Rivers continued. “But if he’s not [ready], he’s not.”
Obviously this will be a situation to keep a close eye on during the upcoming days, but Doc says Pierce will try out the heel again on Christmas Eve and the team will make a decision then on his status for Sunday.
And in somewhat other positive news, Sasha Pavlovic returned to practice today, and participated fully after sitting out the end of last week with a sore wrist. Look for him to be active tomorrow night and for Sunday’s opener with the team potentially needing him for depth purposes.