BOSTON (CBS) – Celtics coach Doc Rivers said Paul Pierce is doubtful Tuesday night against the Miami Heat.
Pierce will likely miss his second straight game with a heel injury Tuesday night. He worked out Monday with limited soreness, but the team wants to make sure their captain is 100-percent before returning.
Pierce missed Boston’s season opening loss to the Knicks on Christmas Day as well as their two preseason games with the ailment. While the injury will not likely keep the Pierce out for an extended period of time, he could also miss Wednesday’s road game against the Hornets. The Celtics captain could return Friday night when the team opens at home against the Detroit Pistons.
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One Celtic analyst says Boston will be overly cautious with Pierce and not rush to get him back as the season gets underway.
“I talked to Paul for a long length of time on the plane… He said his heel was really hurting,” Celtics radio analyst Cedric Maxwell said on WBZ-TV’s Sports Final Sunday Night. “It’s a deep bone bruise, and because he has that bone bruise it doesn’t allow him to pivot and move around. I think the Celtics are going to air on the side of caution here and make sure Paul Pierce is healthy before he comes back into the fold.”
Pierce led Boston in scoring last season with 18.9 points per game, shooting 50-percent from the field.
Sasha Pavlovic is expected to get his second straight start in Pierce’s place for Boston.