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Thursday, April 29, 2010
Celtics don't think much of injury

By Chris Forsberg
ESPNBoston.com

WALTHAM, Mass. -- Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers didn't need to see an MRI to diagnose Cleveland Cavaliers superstar LeBron James' ailing right elbow.

"He's fine," Rivers said Thursday. "I'll tell you what, if he goes three or four games and shoots left-handed only, then I'll believe he's hurt. Other than that, we'll be ready for the LeBron we've seen all playoffs."

The Celtics practiced for a shade more than two hours Thursday afternoon and news of James' diagnosis -- an elbow strain and bone bruise, according to the Cavs -- probably hadn't made its way through the locker room. But it didn't matter. Players and coaches were fully expecting to see James on the court for Game 1 of the teams' Eastern Conference semifinals Saturday at Cleveland.

And they were expecting the usual high level of play from the soon-to-be two-time league MVP.

"LeBron with a bad elbow is still better than 95 percent of the league," shrugged Celtics captain Paul Pierce. "So it doesn't matter."

When a new pack of reporters wandered over and repeated the query, Pierce reiterated, "I'm treating it like he's 100 percent."

Celtics center Kendrick Perkins echoed those sentiments. "I don't know, it's just crazy, the whole elbow situation, how he made one with his right arm, then got hurt, [and shot] with his left. That whole situation is crazy," Perkins said. "But we're not worried about what's going on with their end. We're worried about us."

Chris Forsberg is the Celtics reporter for ESPNBoston.com. Follow him on Twitter.