Celtics Blog

Pierce update

Paul Pierce will miss tonight’s game against New Jersey at the Continental Airlines Arena due to an infected left middle finger. He was sent back to Boston earlier today so team physician Dr. Brian McKeon could examine the captain. Although the Celtics consider Pierce day-to-day, it is unlikely he will play in tomorrow night’s exhibition finale at home against Toronto.

The infected finger is the second injury the usually durable Pierce has suffered this preseason. He missed a game against New York last week due to strained left hip that occurred against Cleveland Oct. 13. While Pierce does not need extra time on the court, coach Doc Rivers viewed the final two exhibition games as an opportunity to simulate the strategies and player combinations he planned to use during the regular season. Obviously, without Pierce in the mix, the Celtics’ starting unit loses an opportunity to build more chemistry before opening night.

The severity of the infection is unknown, but the Celtics are clearly taking it seriously by sending Pierce back to Boston. That said, the early return to Boston is precautionary than anything else, though Pierce is experiencing discomfort in the finger and has difficulty bending it. Team officials want to make sure Pierce is completely healthy when games count. Also, in light of Delonte West’s toe infection, the Celtics also wanted to make sure that infections do not spread throughout the team. …

… Brian Scalabrine (separated left shoulder) and Theo Ratliff (sore lower back) did not make the trip to New Jersey. …

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… The broadcast of tomorrow night’s game will be on WEEI 850 AM, not as usual on WRKO because of previously scheduled coverage of the gubernatorial debate.

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