DETROIT — Paul Pierce will remain hospitalized ‘‘for at least two days’’ because of an infected left elbow, according to coach Doc Rivers.
The Celtics sent Pierce home from Detroit earlier today after he complained of a low-grade fever and swollen left elbow before shootaround. Team physician Brian McKeon examined Pierce at New England Baptist Hospital and lanced the infection. Pierce likely will not return to the lineup until after the All-Star break.
‘‘It just somehow got infected,’’ said Rivers about an hour before tipoff. ‘‘It’s one of those things. I don’t know yet, but this pretty much does in any chance of coming back before the All-Star break. That would be my guess. I’ll probably know more by [tomorrow], but definitely, by Friday we should have a better idea. Obviously, it’s not the best news we’ve had, but we’re kind of sterilized to it almost at this point.’’
Pierce traveled with the team to suburban Detroit to continue his rehab from a stress reaction in his left foot, anticipating a return this week. He had participated in the Celtics’ last three practices and intended to go through shootaround today, though not compete in tonight’s game against the Pistons at the Palace of Auburn Hills.
According to Rivers, the infection is not related to elbow surgery Pierce underwent during the offseason or the MRSA (Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus) outbreak that caused problems for the Celtics earlier this season.