Pietrus, Wilcox out vs. Blazers

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Pietrus, Wilcox out vs. Blazers

BOSTON The Boston Celtics will once again go into battle short-handed with key reserves Mickael Pietrus and Chris Wilcox out for tonight's game against Portland.

Celtics coach Doc Rivers said Pietrus has a sore right knee - the same knee Pietrus had surgery on this past summer.

The 6-foot-6 wing did not participate in the team's shoot-around on Friday morning.

As for Wilcox, he is out due to a personal matter.

With them out, look for the Celtics to lean on Marquis Daniels and Sasha Pavlovic to fill the void left by Pietrus.

Boston will likely turn to JaJuan Johnson and Greg Stiemsma to provide some of the energy that Wilcox has been bringing to the floor lately.

In addition to Pietrus and Wilcox, the Celtics will also be missing Jermaine O'Neal (wrist). He has yet to decide on whether he will have surgery, or take a cortisone shot which would likely keep him out for a couple weeks afterward. Rivers said prior to tonight's game against Portland that there's no update on O'Neal.

Earlier, Rivers said that he wasn't anticipating having O'Neal back, adding that anything he provided would be "a bonus."

Mitchell, Hogan reportedly good to go for AFC title game

Mitchell, Hogan reportedly good to go for AFC title game

FOXBORO -- The Patriots haven't had all of their receivers simultaneously healthy and in uniform since they acquired Michael Floyd on waivers last month. That appears as though it could change Sunday. 

PATRIOTS-STEELERS PREGAME

According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, wideouts Malcolm Mitchell (knee) and Chris Hogan (thigh) are expected to play in the AFC title game. Tight end Martellus Bennett (knee) is also expected to play, per Schefter. All three were listed as questionable on the team's injury report. 

Mitchell has not seen game action since injuring his knee mid-way through the third quarter against the Jets in Week 16. Hogan suffered a thigh injury against the Texans last week, left the game in the third quarter and did not return. 

Patriots receiver Danny Amendola was also listed on this week's injury report with an ankle issue. Last week, he played in his first game since Week 13.

If Mitchell, Hogan and Amendola are all healthy enough to play, the Patriots will have their choice of five wideouts against the Steelers since Julian Edelman and Floyd are also physically able to suit up. 

Will they all be in uniform? That remains to be seen. The Patriots haven't taken five receivers on their 46-man game-day roster yet this season. However, because all five bring something different to the Patriots offense, perhaps Bill Belichick and his staff will find it valuable enough to activate all five.

If the Patriots opt to take the receiver-heavy route, they'll have to go lighter elsewhere -- perhaps de-activating a core special teamer -- in order to make room.