Paul Pierce said today he hopes to be back and playing in games for the Celtics by the first week of February. He said he plans to keep the walking boot on his left foot for five more days and then get a couple of practices in over the next 10 days.
“It’s coming along pretty good,” Pierce said in the Celtics locker room before tonight’s game against the Kings. “ I saw a lot of improvement in the last week and it’s healing.”
Pierce was asked if he had been informed of the full extent of his injury from the start.
“I mean obviously not,” said Pierce. “We found out it was worse than it was originally. Who knows what a stress reaction is. It could be called a stress fracture, because it’s the same treatment for it. There’s no difference in it. I treat it like a stress fracture.”
Pierce said he would not seek a second opinion on the foot.
“I thought about it,” he said. “This is the hardest time in my basketball career. Some days are worse than others. Last week I was really down. But I saw progress in the healing. They’re taking X-rays every week and the doctor is showing me the healing, so we’re seeing progress.”
Pierce has been attending Celtics practices and working out on the exercise bike. He tried one pool workout but said he didn’t like it. He is not sure how much fitness he has lost since the injury.
“You really don’t know until you go out there every day,” he said. “It’s not the same being in shape as it is basketball shape. We’ll wait until that first practice and then I can measure it from there.”
Pierce did not set a definite date for his return.
“I’m hoping I come back before the All-Star break, but I want to make sure that it’s completely healed so I don’t have any setbacks,” he said.
Pierce commented on the team’s play during his absence.
“It’s been frustrating, but its good seeing guys trying to come into their own,” he said. “Guys are playing with a lot more confidence, and when I come back I want them to keep playing with that confidence. Guys tend to defer when I’m out there.”