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Big man Pollard progressing, in small steps

WALTHAM - Scot Pollard's status is still a question mark.

The Celtics' new big man sprained his left ankle over the summer and missed all but the past two days of camp.

Coach Doc Rivers said he'd wait and see about Pollard's availability for Friday's game against the Wizards, but the player was slightly more optimistic.

"I would say that unless I wake up [today] and my leg looks like a balloon, I would think that we're going to keep going full-on with the expectation of at least being in a uniform Friday," he said.

Aside from a few situational drills at the end of practice, Pollard ran the full two hours, but he admitted not all of it was pretty.

"Baby steps," he said. "It was a tough day for me. I'm obviously not in basketball shape, but it was good to get out and run around and be actually a part of the team now on the court. So it felt good to be around for practice. Hopefully, we'll pass the point of it reacting a huge amount and I can continue practicing."

Rivers said he was impressed with Pollard on the defensive end, but he also said it was impossible for him to learn the system through osmosis.

"You can watch it all day," Rivers said. "But once it goes full speed, you're not going to run it very well. And we anticipate that. It's not like we didn't know."

Pollard didn't disagree.

"I've been in offenses the last four years where it was just rote memorization, it wasn't reads," Pollard said. "So this is back to Sacramento, where there's read options in the offense, and that's where you have to know who you're playing with as well as the set. You have to know who you're with on the court and their tendencies, and that's something that comes with time on the court.

"That's nothing that comes with watching tape."

Decision day

If Tony Allen's contract extension doesn't come today, it's likely not coming.

His agent, Darrick Powell, said it's doubtful Allen will get an extension by the deadline, which is today. Powell said he and the team have had limited discussions.

"It's not etched in stone, but we're comfortable as a group with Tony playing it out," Powell said.

Allen left the facility quickly after practice. Basketball boss Danny Ainge wasn't available, and Rivers said he didn't know about the situation.

The Celtics took Allen with the 25th pick in the first round of the 2004 draft. He's in the last year of his rookie contract. Allen tore his ACL last season and missed 48 games, but he averaged 4.8 points in the exhibition season.

"We know he's going to be playing, and be in the rotation," Powell said. "We know what Tony can do and they know what Tony can do. Tony loves being in Boston, the fans and the warm feeling he gets there when he steps on the floor. If he could end his career in Boston, he probably would. But he knows it's a business, too."

Open House

Eddie House knocked down three treys last Friday against the Cavaliers. Kevin Garnett had the assist on two of them. If it works that way all season, House is fine with that. "We know what the Big Three is going to give us night in and night out, and I think it's up to us as role players to do the best that we can, play our role, know our role," House said. "Every night it can be somebody different out there. I just think it's a good opportunity for everybody." House averaged 7.4 points per game in the exhibitions on 44.5 percent shooting from the floor, 38.9 percent from 3-point range. "I'm not worried about his shot," Rivers said. "He had some games where he didn't make shots, but he's a great shooter. There's no doubt about that." Rivers described House as "up-and-down" during the preseason, playing better when he was not at the point. "We brought him in here to make open shots, so we're going to make sure he's in those spots," Rivers said . . . Center Kendrick Perkins said he's feeling fine after tweaking his hamstring last week. "I feel good," he said. "Looking forward to Friday. It kind of went away a little bit so it's all good." Wizards star Gilbert Arenas guaranteed a win Friday. Perkins didn't particularly care for the prediction. "Gilbert said some stuff that kind of [ticked] our team off," Perkins said. "So right now we just focus on getting this 'W' "

Julian Benbow can be reached at jbenbow@globe.com

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