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Paul Pierce: Pinched nerve causing ‘up-and-down’ performance, will last ‘until the season’s over’

02.28.13 at 1:10 pm ET
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WALTHAM — Two weeks, Celtics president Danny Ainge divulged during a game broadcast that Paul Pierce had been playing through a pinched nerve in his neck for two months, and before Thursday’s practice the C’s captain admitted the pain will continue for the rest of the season, if not longer.

“I probably won’€™t be fully recovered from it until the season’€™s over, if I ever do,” said Pierce. “I’€™ve probably got a little bit of nerve damage in the back part of my neck, but it’€™s something I’€™ve been playing through over the last couple months, so I’€™m probably about as healthy as I’€™m probably going to be for the rest of the season right now.”

Pierce shot below 40 percent from the field and 30 percent from 3-point range in January, and while those numbers improved this month, he’s having his worst shooting season in nearly a decade, making just 41.9 percent of his field goals after converting better than 44 percent in each of his previous five seasons.

“I really don’€™t try to pay attention to it during the game,” he said. “I don’€™t let little injuries try to affect me. I don’€™t really think about it. It’€™s probably been the reason I’€™ve been up-and-down a lot. Sometimes you get a sharp pain. There are times when I have a stinger go through the same part of my neck where the pain is happening, and it’€™s happening a lot more than normal, whether it be in practice or a game, so it’€™s something I’€™ll deal with after the season.”

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