Boston Celtics: Concussions
March, 25, 2012
By Chris Forsberg | ESPNBoston.com
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.
AP Photo/Matt SlocumTrainer Ed Lacerte attends to Mickael Pietrus in Philadelphia.
"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."
March, 24, 2012
By Chris Forsberg | ESPNBoston.com
If further testing reveals that Mickael Pietrus does indeed simply have a concussion, he still has some hurdles to clear before he will be able to get back on the floor given the NBA's new protocol for head injuries. Lakers star Kobe Bryant suffered a concussion and a nasal fracture at this year's All-Star Game, but didn't miss any regular-season games. Even still, our good friend Brian Kamenetzky of the Land O'Lakers blog outlined a few highlights of the concussion policy that will likely apply to Pietrus as well:
AP Photo/Amy SancettaThe league's new concussion protocol could impact Mickael Pietrus' return to the floor.
* As part of the policy, during the preseason every player in the NBA undergoes baseline neurological testing.
* If a player is diagnosed with a concussion, he's no longer allowed to play until cleared in consultation with the NBA's director of the concussion program, Dr. Jeffrey Kutcher, an associate professor of neurology at the University of Michigan.
* To gain clearance, a player must return to his symptom-free neurological baseline, then complete a series of exertion tests, each growing in difficulty (from a stationary bike to jogging, to agility and individual basketball drills) remaining free of symptoms after each test.
* There is no set amount of time that must pass between each exertion exercise. Testing is situation specific, and relies on the medical judgment of the doctors and other medical personnel involved.
Expect the Celtics to be diligent with this process and exercise caution before the ever-eager Pietrus to get back on the floor, even if all his follow-up testing turns up well. It seems the most likely scenario is for him to miss at least a couple games (the Celtics have a back-to-back with a visit from Washington Sunday before visiting Charlotte on Monday).
Regardless, the mere fact that we're talking about Pietrus even possibly being back on the court soon is a relief given how scary the situation on the court looked Friday night in Philadelphia.