AP Photo/Matt Slocum
Trainers attend to Mickael Pietrus after he sustained a concussion against Philadelphia last month.BOSTON -- Celtics swingman Mickael Pietrus visited with teammates at TD Garden for the first time since suffering a frightening concussion last month in Philadelphia.
Still feeling the affects of what coach Doc Rivers said was a Grade III concussion (the most serious classification), particularly light sensitivity, Pietrus' return to the court remains in limbo, but the team was excited to have him in attendance for a blockbuster matchup with the Heat.
"It's just great to see him," said Rivers. "I don’t think anybody has seen him since the injury. It will be great to have him in the locker room. He’s texting me a lot now, which is great, and that’s terrific that he’s able to do that. Again, we haven’t even started the [concussion] tests. He’s going to be out a while."
Pressed on whether that meant the Celtics were starting to fear Pietrus might not be back this season, Rivers suggested the team is just taking it day by day to see how he improves.
"I wouldn’t be surprised if he played next week [and] I wouldn’t be surprised if we didn't see him," Rivers said. "I just don’t know. With that injury, I don’t think anyone really knows now. When I played it was easy, we just played the next day and [Rivers' former Hawks coach] Mike Fratello would yell at me for not playing well. Now I call Mike all the time and tell him, ‘I have an excuse!’ But really it’s amazing what we didn’t know back then and what we know now. I’m glad we know it now."
The Celtics expected Pietrus to simply pop in and Rivers said he was hoping to send him right back home to recover. In typical Pietrus fashion, he stayed until the end of the game to revel with his teammates after a big win over the rival Heat. Spotted leaving the locker room, he wore sunglasses and a hood to help with the light sensitivity.
Also in typical Pietrus fashion, he made his presence felt.
"MP is a live body, so every time he’s in the building, you know he is here," said teammate Keyon Dooling. "He looked good, he looked like MP. You can tell he’s still bothered by the light, stuff like that... but it’s just good to see him. Obviously, we’ve been texting him and checking up on him, but just to see him, it's quite refreshing."
Added captain Paul Pierce: "Oh, it was great, just having him back around the guys. He's been through a tough situation where we don't know when we're going to get him back. It's good to have Ray [Allen] around even though he's not playing [due to an ankle injury]. It just keeps the guys in the flow, keeps the chemistry going. It just keeps them in the mix and that's what a team is all about."