WALTHAM — The recent aggressive infections that sidelined Paul Pierce (left middle finger) and Delonte West (right second toe) were no coincidence. The Celtics announced today that the ‘‘organization has sustained a small bacterial infection issue.’’
The bacterial infection in question is Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus, more commonly known as MRSA. The Celtics said they are ‘‘aggressively undertaking steps to test each of our basketball staff members and players’’ and ‘‘are professionally cleaning our facilities in Waltham and at the TD Banknorth Garden.’’ The team planned to sanitize the practice facility from ‘‘top to bottom’’ this weekend.
MRSA, as well as other bacterial infections, are increasingly common among professional and college teams. The Celtics informed and educated the players about MRSA before practice this afternoon, turning what was to be a one-hour workout into an event twice as long.
‘‘I’m glad [trainer] Eddie [Lacerte] and [team] Doc [Brian McKeon] thought it was strange that it was strange that basically they were tiny cuts and two guys have pretty bad infections,’’ said Coach Doc Rivers. ‘‘Let’s hope it’s taken care of because it can be dangerous I guess. I think the 49ers years ago had the exact same thing. It’s happened to several college teams. …. This is something that usually happens with close quarters with teams. [The facility] is being cleaned out because they can’t take any chances. And it may not come from here. It’s really extremely treatable and everything will be fine.’’
So far, Rivers noted that no other players besides Pierce and West have shown symptoms.