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Ainge relieved Pierce has only foot strain

Posted by Gary Washburn Globe Staff  February 2, 2010 09:51 PM

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It turns out that Paul Pierce has just a mid-foot strain and is listed as day-to-day. Team president Danny Ainge didn't rule out the possibility of Pierce playing Wednesday night against Miami, although it appears unlikely.

The Celtics' medical staff reviewed Pierce's X-rays and MRI and determined that his left foot wasn't broken, as had been feared earlier. According to team sources, the Celtics thought Pierce may be out several weeks after bending the foot awkwardly after Washington's Caron Butler landed on Pierce in the first quarter of a 99-88 win Monday over the Wizards.

"We were concerned after watching the injury and seeing the soreness on Paul's foot this morning and what it looked like on TV," Ainge told the Globe on Tuesday night. "I was worried, so I was very relieved to hear it was a sprained mid foot and that he'll be back soon."

Celtics team physician Dr. Brian McKeon did not receive Pierce's medical results until Tuesday evening and Pierce was examined again by the team's medical staff before the diagnosis was made. Ainge said the results are final.

"We feel comfortable with it and we are relieved," he said. "When he's ready to play, he will play. I don't know when that is."

Pierce, an Eastern Conference All-Star, is averaging 18.9 points, 4.7 rebounds and 3.4 assists. He left the game briefly in the first quarter but returned to play 18 more minutes but sat out the fourth when coach Doc Rivers saw he was hurting.

The Celtics host the Miami Heat on Wednesday night at TD Garden. If Pierce is out, Tony Allen would likely start in his place.

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