Pietrus not ready for concussion tests


AP Photo/Matt Slocum

Trainer Ed Lacerte attends to Mickael Pietrus in Philadelphia.BOSTON -- Celtics coach Doc Rivers said Mickael Pietrus is not ready yet to take the concussion tests that would allow him to return to action, but said he talked with the guard after his injury scare in Philadelphia and playfully noted he sounds in good health.

"He sounds great; sound like Mickael -- I don’t understand what he’s saying," Rivers quipped on the Guadeloupe native's French accent.

Rivers said all the initial medical testing confirmed that Pietrus simply suffered a concussion after spilling hard to the floor Friday in Philadelphia and said the team will exercise caution with bringing him back.

"He’s not even ready to take a [concussion] test yet," said Rivers. "They do the baseline test -- the same thing the NFL [does] -- they do the test before the year now -- it’s the first year we’ve ever done that -- but he’s not even ready to take the test. So, we’ll just have to wait and see."

Rivers admits that, in a season in which the Celtics have been riddled with injuries, he expected the worse given the scary scene in Philadelphia.

"I knew he had a concussion, you could see that, but I was more worried about his neck and his body," said Rivers. "It looked bad. We are fortunate."

Rivers wouldn't offer an estimate when asked about the earliest to expect Pietrus back on the floor.

"I stay out of that [trainer's] room, I think you know that," said Rivers. "I think [team trainer] Eddie [Lacerte] -- I trust Eddie 100 percent. They’ll make the right decision. They don’t need my input at all. Eddie will do the right thing."

Rivers said he likes the new efforts being made to ensure that players don't rush back too quickly from head injuries. He relayed how he suffered two concussions during his 13-year playing career.

"One [concussion] I woke up in the hospital, literally, from [Hakeem] Olajuwon... so that probably explains my actions today [and] everyday," cracked Rivers. "I know I had one where I was in the hospital and I want to say I played the next game. Back then you just had a headache and you went out and played basketball. You didn't think anything of it. Now you’re finding out all the things have happend afterwards. I’m glad. In every sport -- obviously football and hockey would be the two that lead the pack in it -- [but] there’s a lot of them in basketball as well. We don’t wear headgear, so things happen."

Asked if the team learned anything from when Brian Scalabrine endured a concussion a few years back, Rivers kept it light.

"No, except for that headgear [that Scalabrine wore] looked horrendous," joked Rivers. Turning more serious he noted that, "I think everybody is different. I think concussions have been proven, every single one is an individual injury, it’s not a group thing."