Sullinger (knee) expected to play Friday vs. Blazers

Sullinger (knee) expected to play Friday vs. Blazers
November 14, 2013, 3:00 pm
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C E L T I C S  P L A Y O F F  P I C T U R E 
in Eastern Conference

WALTHAM, Mass. — The bone bruise on Jared Sullinger's right knee hasn't completely healed, but it it's not expected to keep him off the floor on Friday when the Boston Celtics host the Portland Trail Blazers.

"That's everything I've been told," said Celtics head coach Brad Stevens. "I guess you always wait until tomorrow, but from everything I've been told and from everything I've gathered, he was ready to go today."

Stevens said the Celtics had a light practice on Thursday in which Sullinger fully participated.

"It's a little sore, but I'll be alright," Sullinger said afterwards.

Sullinger suffered the injury in Monday's 120-105 win over Orlando. He was able to continue playing, but was held out of Wednesday's loss to Charlotte which snapped the team's four-game winning streak.

"It was tough for me to land and jump confidently," Sullinger said. "So I decided to sit the night out (Wednesday) and get another day's rest, try to get this knee back where it needs to be."

After the game, the Celtics went out of their way to not use Sullinger's absence as an excuse for the loss.

But when you consider how Sullinger has emerged as arguably the Celtics' best around-the-basket scorer, not having him available was a major contributor in the loss.

"I thought we were missing a little bit of energy," Sullinger said. "They (Charlotte) really outplayed us ... I just felt like I could have matched their toughness, matched their energy and hopefully picked the team up."

Sullinger will get that opportunity on Friday night against the Portland Trail Blazers (6-2) who are led by All-star forward LaMarcus Aldridge and point guard Damian Lillard, the league's reigning Rookie of the Year award winner.

"Portland's a great basketball team," Sullinger said. "With LA (Aldridge), he's a really good shooter. He's a very explosive scorer, and then you have the rookie of the year last year in Damian Lillard who's really making a name for himself in this league. We got a lot to do tomorrow."