Erden (stomach bug) sits out practice

Boston Celtics rookie center Semih Erden did not participate in Friday's practice session in Orlando due to a stomach bug and could miss Saturday's Christmas showdown with the Magic, according to the team.

Boston is hoping to get center Jermaine O'Neal back after missing 19 consecutive games, the majority due to lingering left knee soreness that's sidelined him since sitting out the second half of a loss to the Dallas Mavericks on Nov. 8, but O'Neal also sat out Wednesday's game against the Philadelphia 76ers due to flu-like symptoms. He practiced Friday and could be back on the floor in a reserve role against Orlando.

Guard Rajon Rondo did not practice Friday and Celtics coach Doc Rivers told reporters he'll continue to be cautious with his All-Star point guard, maybe extending his absence beyond the normal two-week window established after he sprained his left ankle against the New York Knicks on Dec. 15. That means Rondo is almost certainly out for Saturday's game against the Magic.

Center Kendrick Perkins, rehabbing from offseason ACL surgery, again went through non-contact portions of practice, doing some conditioning and light drills.

Also this morning, Celtics guard Ray Allen spoke with the USS Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier stationed in the North Arabian Sea to wish the 5,000 troops and sailors well this holiday season.

"I grew up in a military family so I know what it’s like to have friends and family deployed,” said Allen. "What you are doing for us helps me do what I do every single day."

US Navy/Courtesy Photo

Sailors listen in on a conference call from Boston sports stars, including Celtics guard Ray Allen and Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker and coach Bill Belichick.