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Sunday, February 12, 2012
Pregame: Bass (knee) out 10-14 days

By Chris Forsberg



BOSTON -- Celtics top reserve Brandon Bass will miss 10-14 days with inflammation in his ailing right knee, coach Doc Rivers said before Sunday's game against the Bulls.

Bass felt some discomfort in the knee during a win over the Knicks on Feb. 3. He sat out the following game against the Memphis Grizzlies, but played in three games last week. Rivers said the news came as a bit of a surprise to him, as he was informed by team trainer Eddie Lacerte on Sunday morning that Bass almost certainly will be out through the All-Star break.

"We knew his knee was bothering him, but then he got the treatment, and he missed that one game," Rivers said. "There was nothing said after the Toronto game. Then Eddie called me this morning and told me he was out, and out for a while. That was a surprise."

The Celtics also will be without starting center Jermaine O'Neal, who will miss his second straight game with a shoulder injury. O'Neal appeared to get dinged against the Lakers and sat out Friday's game in Toronto. Rivers suggested O'Neal was day-to-day, but asked about the injuries, he simply quipped, "Shoulder, knee, age -- I don't know."

Chris Wilcox will start at center in place of O'Neal. Rivers said the Celtics quite obviously will be forced to go small at times, while rookies JaJuan Johnson and Greg Stiemsma should see an uptick in playing time given the injuries up front.

In positive health news for the Celtics, guard Avery Bradley is, as Rivers dubbed him, "fully healthy" after battling some shoulder pain last week, while guard Keyon Dooling is back after missing 16 of the last 17 games because of right knee soreness and a right hip pointer. Sasha Pavlovic also is available after enduring a flare-up of an injured left wrist last week.

"Keyon is going to give it a go today," Rivers said. "I think Sasha [is available and] Avery is fully healthy, which is great. I think other than [Bass and O'Neal], we’re pretty good."

The Bulls will be without a starter of their own as MVP guard Derrick Rose is out with back spasms.