BOSTON (CBS) – Parts of the 2012-13 NBA season have been a real pain in the neck for Boston Celtics captain Paul Pierce.

And he isn’t expecting that pain to go away anytime soon.

Earlier this month, Pierce revealed he was playing through a pinched nerve in his neck. On Thursday, he said he doesn’t expect it to heal this season.

“I probably won’t be fully recovered from it until the season is over, if I ever do,” he said from the Celtics practice facilities in Waltham. “I probably have a little bit of nerve damage in my back and part of my neck. It’s something that I’ve been playing through over the last several months.”

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“I’m about as healthy as I’m probably going to be in the regular season right now,” he admitted.

Pierce has struggled at times this season, but has stilled suited up for all 57 of Boston’s games — averaging 18.5 points, 6.3 rebounds and 4.5 assists per game.

There was a point this past month the neck really bothered him, and Pierce even came out of the Celtics’ win in Phoenix last Friday because of it. But although his point total dipped to 17.8 per game in February, Pierce lifted his all-around game contributing 7.6 rebounds and 6.8 assists — all with Rajon Rondo absent due to an ACL injury.

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“I really don’t try to pay attention to it during the game,” Pierce proclaimed, before admitting it may have led to his peaks and valleys throughout the month. “It’s probably been the reason I’ve been playing a little up and down now. Sometimes you get a sharp pain and sometimes I’ve had a stinger go through the same points in my neck where the pain is happening.”

“It’s happened a lot more than normally, whether it be in practice or in a game, but it’s something I’ll deal with after the season.”

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