PHILADELPHIA The Boston Celtics came into Friday's game against Philadelphia down a man, and they'll leave it down another one.
Mickael Pietrus, who was filling in for injured Ray Allen (left ankle), suffered a neck injury in the second quarter and was unable to return.
The 6-foot-6 wing forward was driving to the basket when he was fouled by Lou Williams with 5:08 to play in the half.
As he tumbled to the ground, replays showed that he landed on the base of his neck.
Pietrus was sprawled out on the floor, motionless for several seconds.
When he didn't spring to his feet quickly, teammates quickly alerted the medical staff that something wasn't right.
Surrounded by teammates and medical personnel, it was soon determined that he would need a neck brace and be carted off on a stretcher.
Team officials have initially described his injury as a questionable head injury that would require him to be sent to a nearby hospital.
Seeing Pietrus on the floor, and then carted off on a stretcher, had a hauntingly familiar feel about it.
It was last season in which Celtics wing Marquis Daniels suffered a similar-looking injury that sidelined him for the remainder of the season.
At first, hopes for a superstar coming to Boston were dashed . . .
And then, hopes of anyone coming to Boston were dashed . . .
Of course, is this is true, the breakdown of the George talks isn't such a bad thing:
More to come . . .
Avery Bradley was back on the practice floor after missing the Celtics' past 16 games, but it's unclear if he'll travel to Toronto for Friday night's game.
Boston Celtics, Avery Bradley, Jaylen Brown, Brad Stevens, Toronto Raptors, A. Sherrod Blakely
WALTHAM, Mass. – Avery Bradley was back on the practice floor briefly at the first gathering of the Celtics since the All-Star break.
Now returning to the floor in an actual game? That remains a bit up in the air.
Celtics coach Brad Stevens said Bradley practiced in a limited fashion on Thursday, adding that his status for the Friday night game at Toronto remains unclear.
“Avery practiced about a third of the practice today which was about what our medical staff determined was the appropriate progression,” Stevens said. “He [Bradley] told me afterwards he felt really good.”
As far as his availability for Friday, Stevens said he did not have an update and was not told by the medical staff whether Bradley would be traveling with the team to Toronto when they leave later this afternoon.
Bradley is dealing with a right Achilles' injury that has kept him sidelined for the past 16 games and 20 of the past 21.
The news is much better when it comes to the health of Jaylen Brown.
Brown missed the past three games, but said he was feeling better and would be traveling with the team to Toronto.
“I’m looking to play in Toronto,” he said.
The return of Brown can only help a Celtics team that’s looking to pick up where they left off prior to the break.
Boston’s ascension to the No. 2 spot in the East has been fueled by wins in 11 of the past 13 games.
Despite that success, Stevens knows all too well that a roster change of some sort could go down at any minute prior to today’s 3 p.m . trade deadline.
“When you’re in position where you’re playing at a pretty good level, you don’t anticipate much change,” Stevens said. “But certainly there could be small things; there may not be. At the end of the day, my job is to try and focus on the 15 guys that are here.”