Practice report: Perkins out, Pierce in

March, 1, 2010
3/01/10
12:54
PM ET
WALTHAM, Mass. -- A collection of news and notes after the Boston Celtics practice Monday at the Sports Authority Training Center at HealthPoint:

The rundown (a quick look at practice headlines)
* Perkins ill, will not travel with team to Detroit
* Pierce says he'll play Tuesday vs. Pistons
* Big Baby plans to call Shaq

Perkins ill, likely out vs. Detroit

Kendrick Perkins is the latest Celtic player felled by the illness sweeping the team's locker room.

Perkins did not participate in Monday's practice at the Sports Authority Training Center at HealthPoint and did not travel with the team to Detroit for Tuesday's battle with the Pistons.

Celtics coach Doc Rivers indicated that, if Perkins felt better Tuesday morning, he could attempt to join the team in time for the game, but suggested that was unlikely. Rasheed Wallace is expected to get the start in place of Perkins.

"So many guys are not feeling well, we can't afford to have a [sick] guy around anybody else, let it start up again," said Rivers. "We're taking a different measure, we're keeping all unhealthy people away from each other. Even those with injuries, just stay away."

Perkins battled the sniffles during Saturday's loss to the New Jersey Nets, but his condition has clearly worsened since then. Celtics coach Doc Rivers admitted before that game that Kevin Garnett and Glen Davis were also not feeling 100 percent, while Marquis Daniels, Paul Pierce, and Nate Robinson have all battled flu-like symptoms over the past week.

Davis indicated the rest of the team would be ready to step up in Perkins' absence.

"We got Rasheed, me, [Shelden Williams], [Brian Scalabrine], we can all play the 4," said Davis. "We're just worried about getting Perk back because he's a big part of this team."

Pierce ready to go Tuesday vs. Pistons



Following Monday's workout, Celtics captain Paul Pierce deemed himself ready to return to action after missing the past three games with a sprained right thumb. Pierce is expected to be back in the starting lineup Tuesday night in Detroit.

"I feel great," said Pierce, who wore tape over his right thumb and wrist. "I had a chance to get out here and it really felt good getting up and down the court. I wanted to make I could catch, dribble, and shoot without pain. It felt great."

Pierce originally sprained his right thumb in the first half of a win over the Los Angeles Lakers on Feb. 18. He played two more games before finally retreating to the sideline to allow the injury to heal. He said it was difficult watching his team struggle during losses to the Cavaliers and Nets last week, and joked that he might have jinxed them.

"I started thinking maybe I shouldn't have shown up," said Pierce. "I didn't show up for New York and we won, maybe it was something I did. But there's no excuses. We should have taken care of business."

Pierce acknowledged that, had he played last week, the thumb injury could have easily been aggravated. He's confident after Monday's practice that he's ready to go without limitations. He also stressed that he's not rushing back to help a team rattled by recent losses.

"If I played a couple games ago and it got hit, it would have hurt really bad," said Pierce. "But I'm at the point now where, if I get hit, it's not going to bother me. I've been getting extra treatment, resting, it's been good.

"I would have been back for the Cleveland game [if he was rushing back], believe me, as much as I wanted to play against Cleveland, play against LeBron [James]. I even went out and shot before the game, I wanted to be out there so bad. But I'm not rushing back. My body feels good, I'm ready to go."

Big Baby plans to call Shaq

Celtics forward Glen Davis plans to call Shaquille O'Neal, a fellow LSU alumn, after learning that Cleveland's center will need surgery on a sprained right thumb sustained against the Celtics. O'Neal is expected to miss the remainder of the regular season.

"It [stinks] man," said Davis. "Stuff just happens. To be playing and ... get a crazy hit like that. I hope he feels better. I'm going to call him and see how he's doing."

Davis came under scrutiny after video appears to show him pulling at Shaq's thumb in last week's game. Davis noted last week that his little thumb war with O'Neal came before the actual injury.

Davis, who closed out practice by shooting his free throws shirtless, much to the delight of Pierce, who razzed him from across the gym, downplayed his own injury after it appeared he tweaked his shoulder.

"I got it jammed a little bit -- an old LSU injury," said Davis. "Nothing big. I'm fine."

Davis is hoping to create some better memories in Detroit Tuesday night. The last time the Celtics visited the Palace at Auburn Hills, Davis was fined $25,000 by the league for obscene comments towards a fan.

Chris Forsberg

Celtics reporter, ESPNBoston.com

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Jeff Green
PTS AST STL MIN
18.7 1.6 0.9 33.7
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsJ. Sullinger 7.9
AssistsJ. Nelson 7.0
StealsJ. Nelson 2.5
BlocksK. Olynyk 0.8