After a demoralizing loss to the Nets on Saturday, things can only go uphill for the Celtics, or so they hope.

Fortunately, when they face Detroit on Tuesday, captain Paul Pierce will be around to help out.

According to, Pierce practiced on Monday and should be good to go for Tuesday's game at the Palace of Auburn Hills. He missed three games with an injured right thumb.

"It felt good going up and down the court," Pierce told the Web site. "I was able to catch the ball, dribble and shoot it. Rest was good for me, to get my body back, and I should be ready to go. If I played a couple games ago and hit it, it would have hurt really bad."

As Pierce returns, however, center Kendrick Perkins will likely bow out because of flu-like symptoms. Perkins did not practice on Monday.