- Chris Forsberg, ESPN Staff Writer
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Gerald Wallace wears a walking boot as his teammates shoot free throws at practice.WALTHAM, Mass. -- Boston Celtics forward Gerald Wallace received a cortisone shot after Wednesday's game as part of a precautionary plan to eliminate lingering pain in his left ankle and have the 13th-year veteran ready for the start of the regular season next Wednesday night in Toronto.
Wallace watched Thursday's practice from the sidelines, accessorizing a gray Patriots sweatshirt with a bulky black walking boot. Both he and coach Brad Stevens downplayed the significance of the footwear.
"Just precautionary," said Wallace. "I got a cortisone shot in my ankle last night, so they’re just trying to get it to work as best as they could, so I gotta wear the boot to keep it from being aggravated. It’s something I’ve had all summer long. This is just something to help contain the pain. We’ve got about six days before our opening game, so this is a chance to get a little rest, let it calm down a little bit, and hopefully go into the regular season with no pain."
Stevens said he had previously planned to sit Wallace out of practice both Thursday and Friday -- and the Celtics are scheduled to take Saturday and Sunday off -- allowing the veteran four full days to mend all his bumps and bruises. Stevens hopes to have the entire team available when the Celtics reconvene on Monday.
"[Wallace] was going to be off today and tomorrow regardless going into last night," said Stevens. "It’s one of the reasons that he played extended minutes, too, because it gives him a chance to get his conditioning because he’s not going to get it -- at least in an up-and-down the court way -- in the next few days."
Added Stevens: "It’s all very preventative. I don’t know what he said about it, but that’s at least what I am under the impression of. It’s not one of those deals where you’d have to rest him on the third day. I haven’t heard any of that yet. We’re just being preventative with him. He’s played a lot of games in his career and he plays games harder than a lot of guys do. At the end of the day, you just want to make sure he’s available come next Wednesday."
In other injury news, rookie center Vitor Faverani, coming off a sensational effort in his only start of the preseason, did not participate in Thursday's breezy 65-minute non-contact session. Yet again, Stevens stressed it was merely preventative after Faverani battled through some stiffness in his back on Wednesday against the Nets.
"He should be fine, too," said Stevens. "I think it’s also, again, very preventative, making sure that we’re taking the appropriate steps. Kind of like Phil [Pressey]’s ankle last week, we want guys to not only be available, we want them to be full-go, especially at this time of the year."
Jared Sullinger, who missed Wednesday's game due to illness, returned to practice on Thursday.
"He felt OK," said Stevens. "He looked a little bit better. Sometimes when you’re a little bit sick, running feels good. You kind of get the cobwebs out. You could tell he was not 100 percent. It was good to have him back."
Said Sullinger: "It felt good to get out of the house. I was in my bed the whole time, just laying down and just trying to hold in all the food I had the night before. Everything is cool now."
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