<
>

Pietrus targets debut in two weeks

12/30/2011

Chris Forsberg/ESPN Boston

Celtics swingman Mickael Pietrus on the bench Friday night with a wrap over his right knee.BOSTON -- Newly acquired Celtics swingman Mickael Pietrus joined his teammates on the court before Friday's home-opener against the Detroit Pistons and said he's about two weeks away from being ready to participate in game action.

Pietrus underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right knee in July and said he knew he'd be facing a five- to six-month recovery. He quipped about the delayed start to the season, "For some people, the lockout wasn’t good; But for me, it was great."

The Celtics inked Pietrus to a one-year, veteran-minimum deal on Christmas Eve after he facilitated a buyout with the Phoenix Suns and cleared waivers. Already playing without Paul Pierce at the start of the season, some wondered if Pietrus would be thrust right into the fire, but the team advised him to take a few weeks to strengthen that knee to ensure he's healthy when the games matter most.

"I’m not trying to rush myself, because they want me to come back and play [well] at the end of the season," said Pietrus. "I don’t want to come back and limp and not play comfortable and be so frustrated not helping my team the way I want to. I’m going to take my time -- talk to my body, talk to the trainer -- and hopefully in two weeks, I'll be on the floor."

He crossed his fingers as he recited that last part and later knocked on the garden parquet while noting he's completely healthy after surgery (the next few weeks are simply to strengthen the knee to prevent aggravation).

"I didn’t come here just to wear the jersey," said Pietrus. "I came here to play with Paul Pierce, Ray Allen, and [Kevin Garnett], that’s a great challenge for me."

Pietrus, who wore a large wrap over his right knee, was affable with reporters that approached him on the court for a quick chat on his status.

Celtics coach Doc Rivers likes what he's seen of the 29-year-old Pietrus thus far.

"He’s healthy, which is good -- I think they just have to get his knee stronger," said Rivers. "It’s good to see him. He looks in good shape, which is good. So that’s the first step."

Ray Allen, who knows a thing or two about thriving as a veteran shooter, added: "He's a guy that can shoot the ball, can score, and can defend as well. So, he's going to give us a lot of diversity coming off on our bench. So, he should be able to help us a lot and provide some stability in that second unit and [generate] some excitement out on the floor."