BOSTON Paul Pierce did not play in the Boston Celtics' intrasquad scrimmage on Friday night, and it wasn't necessarily because the C's were being overly cautious with his right heel injury.
"If this was a regular-season game, I probably wouldn't be able to play," Pierce told CSNNE.com prior to Friday's game that was won, 52-51, by the White team. "It's the type of injury if you play on it, it'll linger and get worse."
The injury, Pierce said, happened just days before the start of training camp.
"This happened at home," Pierce said. "I was working out, playing basketball. That Monday, before training camp, I had bruised my heel."
Pierce said he immediately informed the Celtics of what happened.
They recommended X-rays, but with camp just around the corner, Pierce opted to simply rest the heel until the start of camp and then have X-rays taken.
"They came back negative," he said. "It's been getting better and better every day."
Since the injury, Pierce has been doing some light shooting while wearing heel protectants.
As far as when he'll be back on the court, Pierce said he anticipates being ready to play in the Celtics' second and final preseason game against Toronto, on Dec. 21.
With the NBA lockout lasting 149 days, Pierce is among the many NBA players itching to get back on the court.
That, more than anything else, is what makes his current injury so frustrating.
"That's been eating at me the most," he said. "That we're back, but I haven't been able to be out there in practice. Just knowing that everything is so scrunched together, and the season starts in about a week and a half."
But when the season starts, Pierce says he'll be ready.
That's part of the reason why he's not trying to get back on the court until he feels the injury is fully heeled.
"You look toward the long run," Pierce said. "When you have long playoff runs over the last few years, it's a marathon sprint. You want guys to be able to come in and play extended minutes. You know how important guys come playoff time will be, like me, Ray (Allen), Kevin (Garnett) and knowing that we are a little bit older and we need a little bit more rest."