WALTHAM, Mass. -- Boston Celtics center Kevin Garnett and guard Courtney Lee both sat out the team's practice on Monday.
Garnett (left foot) underwent an MRI and initial results did not alarm the team, but while he is officially listed as doubtful for Tuesday's visit from the New York Knicks, coach Doc Rivers suggested he could miss extended time. Lee (left ankle) sat out Saturday's game in Memphis, but is probable for Tuesday's game.
"Courtney could play tomorrow... I don’t think Kevin’s playing tomorrow, I’m almost positive of that," said Rivers. "Then, what we want to make sure, is that [Garnett is] going to be good soon."
Rivers was asked if he was worried about a long-term injury with Garnett and offered, "If you mean that he’s not going to play this year? No, I don’t worry about that. Can he miss 4-5 games? Yeah, that’s possible. I don’t know that, [but] to me, that’s not a [long-term] concern."
Rivers added: "He hurt his foot in the Dallas game. Unless something crazy happens in the MRI -- that I can tell you, at first look, they didn’t see that -- unless something happens, at the end of the day, he may miss some games, but we’re going to err on right side [of caution]. Whatever they decide, if they give me option of, 'You can play him every third game or give him two weeks rest,' I can tell you right now, I’m going to say two weeks rest. If it’s my decision. They usually never leave it up to me, but if it was my decision, that’s where I would go. Because at the end of the day, I want him right and I don’t want him half-right."
Rivers admitted he'll have to get creative with lineups if Garnett misses extended time, likely mixing personnel based on matchups. The Celtics will go big with Jeff Green playing a guard-like role at times and putting Boston's best talent on the floor together.
"When Kevin’s out, especially with all the stuff we have going on right now -- you don’t just have Kevin out, if you really look at it, Jared [Sullinger] was starting before he left, you have three of your five starters out [including Rajon Rondo]," said Rivers. "Then you have to look at each individual game as an individual game. I do that as a whole most of the time, but I don’t do that as far as game plan, most of the time. Right now, each game we have to pick how we want to play that night. That’s hard with all the new guys we have here, but that’s how we may have to be."
Celtics captain Paul Pierce admitted injuries have ravaged the Celtics this season, but said the team can't lean on that as a crutch, even amidst a four-game losing streak.
"You know it happens pretty much every year," said Pierce. "It's something you've got to be prepared for, but nothing [like this] I can really think of in recent memory."