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Pierce may return sooner than expected

Posted by Frank Dell'Apa, Globe Staff  December 24, 2009 01:46 PM

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There were positive developments on the Celtics' front Thursday afternoon, a day after Paul Pierce underwent surgery for an infection in his right knee.

First, Pierce might be able to return sooner than the two weeks originally estimated. Second, Kevin Garnett (right thigh bruise) practiced at full speed and will play against the Orlando Magic Friday. Third, forward Glen Davis (broken right hand) could be activated against the Magic.

"He looked great, he'll be fine, so that's the best news," Celtics coach Doc Rivers said of Garnett. "Honestly, I told Kevin if I didn't think he was moving well (today) I was going to set him tomorrow, too. We're looking for the long term. Tomorrow is a great game and all that but we have bigger plans than tomorrow. We want to win tomorrow, we want to win every game we play but we want to be healthy."

Rivers said Pierce's return was a "guesstimate by a doctor who never played basketball."

"I think it may be shorter than two weeks," Rivers said of Pierce.

Davis, who was injured in a fight with a friend on even of the season-opener, "went through whole practice, he sucked but he didn't injure himself, so that's good," Rivers said.

The Celtics trained for about 1 hour, 15 minutes at Freedom High School.

"I'm ready to play, so anxious, so ready," Davis said. "I've been imagining this moment to just go out and play, dress out, and be on the bench. Whatever coach wants me to do that's what I'm going to to do."

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