On his weekly appearance on the Dennis & Callahan show, Celtics  coach Doc Rivers  expressed optimism about the health of Kevin Garnett , but added that he will know more later Thursday after Garnett has an MRI. Garnett suffered a leg injury Wednesday night in the first quarter against the Pistons. There was no contact on the play, which fueled fears that Garnett had possibly re-injured his surgically-repaired right knee. The team thinks that the injury was related to a muscle, and not his knee, however.
“I can’t tell you much more than what you know already,” Rivers said. “He’s going to do more tests today. We do think it’s muscle-related. We don’t think it has anything to do with the knee, but we don’t know. So we’re going to wait and see.”
Rivers added, “I think we’re in good shape here, but you just never know. I’m just going to wait for the MRI. I should know by mid-afternoon.”
He is also looking for more from Jermaine O’Neal  who has played the last three games after missing time with a knee injury. “We need him,” Rivers said. “He struggled against obviously Orlando, first game back. I thought Indiana in the second half he was terrific. I thought [against Detroit] he was one of the few bright spots. He played with great energy and did his job defensively.”
Rivers also said that Rajon Rondo  continues to be day-to-day with his ankle injury and he may not be available Friday when the Celtics play the Hornets. “I don’t know if we’ll see him tomorrow or not but he’s getting close,” Rivers said. “Each time he’s worked out there’s been some swelling. That’s a concern. We’re going to take it slow. We’re not going to push him back, we’ll just wait until he’s ready to play.”
Here are more highlights from the conversation:
On Nate Robinson :
He’s really not a point guard. He’s a basketball player. He’s never going to be Rondo. He’s never going to be a guy that gets great assists. When you’re undersized, number one, it’s very difficult to see the floor. He just literally can’t see some of the things that Rondo can see. We don’t expect him to do that and that’s why we’ve kind of changed in our offense in this stretch. Other guys are handling the ball and we’re going to make do.
On Shaquille O’Neal’s foul trouble:
We need him to play better, number one. The foul trouble has hurt him, and over the last three games, Shaq hasn’t played well either. He’s got to finish at the basket. The foul trouble has probably hurt his rhythm. Some times you’ll go through these three our four game stretches and they can’t get out of the way. That’s basically what’s happened with Shaq.
Is Luke Harangody ready to play with Garnett injured?
With the amount of injuries we’ve had, I don’t know if Avery [Bradley ] is ready, but we’re playing him. I don’t know if Luke is ready, but we’re probably going to play him. At the end of the day, we’re probably going to play both guys. We don’t want them on the court at the same time. We’ll probably try to split up their minutes. But we’re down in numbers right now and we may have no choice.
On the January schedule, which has 1o of the next 13 games at home:
Obviously, when you look at the schedule before the season starts, you look at it and say, ‘This is our stretch right here.’ Now we’re looking at it and saying, ‘Let’s see what we can do with all the guys out.’ Hopefully during this stretch we get guys back. Hopefully Kevin can come back in this stretch, Rondo can come back and then we feel like we can make a run here.