Pierce (ankle) could miss T-Wolves game

Pierce (ankle) could miss T-Wolves game
March 31, 2013, 11:15 pm
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An ankle injury will force Paul Pierce to miss Friday's game against the Cavs.

(AP Images)

NEW YORK — Paul Pierce suffered a right ankle injury against the New York Knicks and will be a game-time decision for Monday night's game against Minnesota.

"I turned it in the first quarter," Pierce said. "Just a little sore. It shouldn't be a problem."

But with just a handful of regular season games remaining, the Celtics are in an overly cautious frame of mind which is why Pierce will likely not play Monday night at Minnesota.

After Boston's 108-89 loss to the Knicks on Sunday, Celtics head coach Doc Rivers said he would probably sit Pierce against the Timberwolves.

Pierce, who had 24 points and 15 rebounds for the C's against New York, wasn't quite ready to commit to missing what would be only his second game this season.

When told about Rivers hinting that he would not see action against Minnesota, Pierce said that it is "a possibility" and added that "we'll talk about it tonight."

Still, Rivers made it clear that he is concerned with the load that Pierce has been asked to carry in the absence of Rajon Rondo (torn right ACL, out for the season) and Kevin Garnett (left foot inflammation), adding that it has to be lessened in some capacity between now and the start the playoffs.

"We're going to give him a rest," Rivers said of Pierce. "We're going to sit him games, for sure. Very soon."

And while Pierce's right ankle injury doesn't appear to be too bothersome, it does present the C's with a viable reason to keep him on the bench and give him a brief rest.

No Pierce against the Timberwolves would mean the C's would be without their leading scorer (Pierce) and top rebounder (Kevin Garnett).

But the cost of having Pierce miss a game for additional rest -and with that, better health-wise for the playoffs - is a price that Rivers and the C's have no problem paying.

"We're just grinding," said C's guard Jason Terry. "We just on the grind and hope that at some point in time we're going to have our whole team intact, ready to go forward. That's all you can do."