Beleaguered Celtics wait for word on Mickael Pietrus
|03.24.12 at 12:50 am ET|
UPDATE: Pietrus has been cleared to return to Boston, where he will be seen by the team’s medical staff.
Just when the Celtics were approaching some kind of normalcy, they had to watch in anguished anxiety as Mickael Pietrus hit the floor with a sudden thud. He lay on the ground for several minutes and left the game with the Sixers on Friday midway through the second quarter after he was loaded on to a stretcher.
There were few firm details on the nature of Pietrus’ injury, but he was taken to a Philadelphia hospital from the arena. In a bit of good news, Pietrus won’t have to spend the night in the hospital but he did remain in Philly for further tests.
Coach Doc Rivers told the media in Philadelphia that Pietrus had an X-ray and CT Scan and would also have an MRI. The official word is a “questionable closed head injury,” which could indicate a concussion.
“It’s just been a hell of a year right now,” Rivers said.
It was just over a year ago when Marquis Daniels suffered a spinal injury against the Magic that required surgery and put him out for the year. In December, the team voided the contract of Jeff Green after a physical revealed an aortic aneurysm that required surgery.
In February, Jermaine O’Neal aggravated a wrist injury that will require surgery to repair a chronic degenerative condition and will keep him out for the rest of the season. In March, tests revealed an aortic condition in forward Chris Wilcox, who will have heart surgery later this month and also be out for the season. The team requested waivers on Wilcox on Friday and signed free agent Ryan Hollins to help out with depth up front.
Without Pietrus, who was subbing for an injured Ray Allen (ankle sprain), and Avery Bradley, who sprained his ankle late in the second quarter, the Celtics didn’t have enough to stay with the 76ers in a 99-86 loss. They were outscored 37-17 in the third quarter, erasing what had been a strong first half in a game that could have vaulted them into first place in the Atlantic Division.
Still, considering all that has happened the last few weeks, their 4-4 road trip looks pretty good. They had one abysmal loss to the Kings last Friday, but otherwise had tough defeats against the Lakers and Nuggets. They beat the Clippers on the second night of a back-to-back, executed late in wins over the Warriors and Hawks and enjoyed an impressive win over the Bucks that gave them the tiebreaker and some breathing room in the playoff race.
“We have a resilient group, though,” said Rivers. “I’m so proud of our team — we just keep sustaining injuries. But guys are just trying to play and win.”
The Celtics return home on Sunday to play the Wizards before heading back out for a back-to-back with the Bobcats on Monday. They have five remaining back-to-backs and one three-in-three, all on the road, in April. They will need to keep that resiliency to finish the regular season, but for now they are simply awaiting word on Pietrus.