Ailing Paul Pierce considering time off

Celtics guard Paul Pierce suggested Monday that he will talk with coach Doc Rivers about taking a few days off to heal a bothersome right thumb.

Pierce, appearing on Mohegan Sun's Sports Tonight on Comcast SportsNet, said the sprained thumb, sustained in the first half of last week's win over the Los Angeles Lakers, remains a hindrance and might require an extended break from action.

"It's a little banged up right now, so it's something I'm going to think about -- taking a few days off and letting it heal," said Pierce. "It's really affecting my game and my shot over the last few days. It's definitely something I'll consider with coach [Rivers on Tuesday] morning -- getting it a few days off to rest it."

Pierce was noncommittal when pressed for a timeline for any such absence, but stressed the injury didn't appear to require anything more than rest.

"Nothing special [for treatment], just rest and ice over the last few days," said Pierce. "Once the swelling goes down, and I get some mobility in it, I'll be ready."

The 32-year-old Pierce has been riddled with injuries this season, missing time with a right knee infection (which required two procedures to drain), a left mid-foot sprain, and now the thumb.

Pierce labored through 2-of-10 shooting for five points in 31 minutes in a loss to Denver Sunday. Including the Lakers game, he's 9-of-28 shooting (32.1 percent), 2-for-9 from 3-point land, with a total of 25 points in three games.

"It's getting better, but the swelling is still there," said Pierce. "It's affecting my shooting and catching the ball. I think after a few days we'll just take it day to day."

The Celtics host the lowly New York Knicks (19-35) Tuesday at the Garden, but then the Eastern Conference-leading Cleveland Cavaliers (43-14) visit Thursday for the first matchup between the two teams since opening night.

It will be interesting to see if Pierce rushes himself back for Thursday's game. The Celtics and Cavaliers do meet two additional times -- both Sunday national TV games on ABC -- over the final two months of the regular season.

Tuesday's game is expected to be the debut of Nate Robinson, acquired from the Knicks in a five-player swap at Thursday's trade deadline. Pierce expressed excitement in what Robinson can bring to the team.

"Nate can come in with energy, give us a scoring punch," said Pierce. "He can handle the ball and push the ball, put pressure on the opposing defense. That's something we need with our second unit."

Chris Forsberg covers the Celtics for ESPNBoston.com.