WALTHAM, Mass. — Celtics captain Paul Pierce didn't participate on Monday afternoon when the team met up for practice at their facility in Waltham, but the outlook is good going forward. Pierce had an MRI on his injured left foot Monday, and the results came back clean.
"He's good," C's coach Doc Rivers said after practice. "It's OK. Everything's good. I think there's some bruising and swelling, but everything he can play with. That's very good. He's going to play Wednesday."
Pierce got kicked in the foot during the Celtics' loss to the Charlotte Bobcats last Monday, and he's been sore for the last week. The pain clearly got to him on Sunday, when he shot 0-for-10 in the Celtics' win over the Heat.
While the MRI revealed no structural damage to the foot, it's clear Pierce is playing hurt.
"It's like if someone hit you with a baseball bat on your arm," Rivers said. "It just takes time to heal. That's basically what happened — he got kicked a couple games ago on his foot, and then he got hit on the hand in the same way, and they both are reacting."
Pierce's other minor injury is to his right hand — he got smacked on the hand at Saturday's practice, and he's still recovering.
"That's the one to me that may take longer," Rivers said of the hand. "When you play basketball, the chances of you not getting hit on the hand are pretty bleak. I've had those. You just hope you can get through a four-game stretch without anybody hitting it.
"Obviously the [All-Star] break is coming at a great time. We've got one game left. For precaution, just so nobody kicks him or hits him, we're not going to practice him [Tuesday] either. That's going to be difficult for Paul, because he likes to practice."
Pierce will play in the Celtics' last game before the break Wednesday, at home against the Nets. From there, it's off to Los Angeles, where the captain is one of four C's selected as a reserve for the Eastern Conference All-Star squad.
"I know the coach of the All-Star team," Rivers joked, referring to himself. "So [Pierce] probably won't play a lot in that game."