By A.Sherrod Blakely
WALTHAM The MRI on Paul Pierce's sore left foot came back negative, which was about as positive a result as the Boston Celtics could have hoped for.
"He's good. It's OK. Everything is good," said coach Doc Rivers. "I think there's some bruising, swelling, but everything . . . he can play with. That was very good."
Rivers said Pierce will play against the New Jersey Nets on Wednesday in Boston's last game prior to the All-Star break.
Despite being so close to the All-Star break, Rivers said there was no temptation to keep Pierce out.
"If we needed to rest him, we would," Rivers said.
The exact time of Pierce's injury is a bit sketchy, but Rivers believes it occurred against the Charlotte Bobcats last week.
And as far as making the injury worse by playing, that doesn't appear a factor.
"It's one of those things, where if someone hit you with a baseball bat on your arm, it's going to take time to heal," Rivers said. "That's what happened a couple games ago. He got kicked on the foot and then he got hit on the hand."
According to Pierce, the right hand injury occurred during the C's practice last Saturday.
"That's the one to me, that might take longer," Rivers said. "When you play basketball, the chance of you not getting hit on the hand is pretty bleak. I've had those . . . you just hope you can get through a four-game stretch without anybody hitting it."
After Wednesday's game, Pierce won't play again until Sunday's All-Star game, where he will be joined by teammates Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett and Rajon Rondo.
Rivers, who will be the Eastern Conference's coach, isn't worried about Pierce getting hurt in that game.
"I know the coach," quipped Rivers. "So he probably will not play a lot in that game."