The Boston Celtics practiced Monday, a noticeable fact given that Doc Rivers’ crew has only had three practices since March, if I’m not mistaken. The latest session was marred by those who did not participate, with Rajon Rondo, Ray Allen, Mickael Pietrus and Greg Stiemsma all absent due to assorted injuries.
Allen noted that bone spurs have been found in his ankle, which can’t be good for his hopes of returning prior to the playoffs. Though saying, “I don’t think I’m that far right now” from returning, Allen also provided the day’s most ominous quote: “Over the last week, it’s swelled on my in moments where I don’t think it should have. And we don’t know why, so I try to just take it one day at a time.”
Doc Rivers noted that Rondo is the closest to returning against the Miami Heat tomorrow night, but Carolyn Manno of CSNNE wouldn’t be surprised if Rondo misses both of the remaining two regular season games. “After talking with Rondo, wouldn’t be surprised if he sits last two games for Celtics. He’s focusing on walking right now, still dealing with spasms,” she tweeted after Monday’s practice, with my own grammatical changes sprinkled in. Let’s allow Rondo to focus on walking for now, even though the Celtics will need a running, passing and scoring Rondo once the playoffs arrive.
Pietrus is less likely, but still possible, against the Heat. He’s dealing with knee swelling that the Celtics think resulted from his inability to work out while concussed, which was followed directly by Pietrus jumping straight back into the rotation. In related news: Rivers pledged that Pietrus would play between 5-10 minutes in his initial return from the concussion. Pietrus played 29.
Stiemsma is bothered by a bone bruise in one foot and plantar fasciitis in the other. Both injuries are likely to bother him the rest of the season, including playoffs, but they are injuries he can play through.
The center will sit out today’s practice, just as he has missed every recent shootaround to preserve his feet for games.
“That’s about the only way we can let it heal,” said Stiemsma. “I’m trying to make it work for now. It’s not a healing process yet. It’s kind of what can you put up with and deal with. Ed (Lacerte, the trainer) has been great. All of the treatment and stuff has been great.
“I just need some time. The right one’s been feeling pretty good lately, but the plantar was hurting pretty bad.”
Stiemsma is a mother-flipping trooper. He’s had foot issues for a large portion of the season, wore a walking boot for a little while, takes ice baths after games and can’t even participate in shootarounds, yet he’s been entirely reliable off the Boston bench. If Jermaine O’Neal had the same injuries Stiemsma has played through all season, he probably would have checked himself into a hospital, asked the nurse to keep a full box of tissues on his bed stand at all times, and watched re-runs of All My Children for the remainder of his contract.