We’ve seen a lot of toughness from Paul Pierce in his career. He was the victim of a stabbing but found a way to recover in time for the start of the season early in his career. He had multiple teeth knocked out after getting fouled against the Suns in the mid 2000’s but didn’t miss a game because of it. He’s a gamer, plays through a lot, doesn’t make excuses, and that’s why Celtics fans love him.
Earlier this month, Danny Ainge revealed that Pierce had been dealing with yet another ailment again this year for the past couple months. It was some nerve damage in his neck. Pierce’s shooting had been up-and-down for most of the past two months, causing Celtics fans to complain. Pierce remained quiet on his injury though until Ainge spoke up on it during the CSN broadcast and Paul played it down after the game before the All-Star Break.
Determined to know a bit more about how much this injury has affected Pierce, I asked the small forward about how he’s been dealing with the neck injury today, two weeks later. Pierce gave a surprising answer about the injury and how it will affect him for the rest of the year, and perhaps the remainder of his career.
“I probably won’t be fully recovered from it until the season is over…if I ever do [recover],” Pierce explained. “I probably got a little bit of nerve damage in the back part of my neck. It’s something I’ve been playing through over the last couple months…I’m probably as healthy as I’m going to be for the rest of the season right now.”
And just how much had the injury been affecting him while he has been out on the floor?
“I really don’t try to pay attention to it during the game. I don’t let little injuries try to effect me. I don’t really think about it. That’s probably the reason why I’ve been up and down a lot. Sometimes you get a sharp pain, other times you have a stinger go through the same part of my neck where the pain is happening. It’s happening a lot more than normally, whether it be in practice or a game but it’s something I’ll deal with after the season.”
Pierce’s numbers over the past month without Rondo has been impressive enough, averaging 18 points, 7 rebounds and 7 assists per game. Doing that with a pinched nerve in your neck? That’s why he’s the Truth and a candidate for the toughest player in the league.