Pregame: Allen returns to lineup

BOSTON -- Celtics guard Ray Allen is back in the starting lineup Sunday against the Cavaliers.

Allen tweaked his left ankle last Sunday in Washington and sat out the past three games while recovering. He said it's difficult to properly describe the injury, saying it's not a turn or a sprain but more localized pain on the interior of the left ankle that the team dubbed a jam. Allen said he's comfortable where he's at in his recovery.

"I got up and I didn’t have any issues or any problems," he said before the game. "When I shot today, I probably felt more weak than I [felt] pain. I moved around fine. The only thing I noticed was weakness in there, but it’s just like running around on it and getting it stronger -- just from having been off of it. I like where I am. I like working my way through it as I go along because I’m not going to do anything worse to it at this point. I feel good about it."

Said Celtics coach Doc Rivers: "It's good that he can get back out on the floor. We need him."

Elsewhere on the injury front, Rivers deemed center Jermaine O'Neal a game-time decision, saying he was still 50/50 whether he'd play while meeting with reporters an hour before tip-off. Rajon Rondo (right wrist) and Keyon Dooling (right hip) are out and inactive, so O'Neal will be able to dress for Sunday's game even if he's unable to go.

"Rondo is out for tonight, but maybe [will play] our next game," said Rivers, whose team plays Tuesday at Cleveland. "Keyon's out, and he'll be out the longest of all the guys."

The Cavaliers will be without Daniel Gibson, who is sidelined by a neck injury.

Old friend Semih Erden is back in town with the Cavaliers and expressed great appreciation for his time in Boston (especially what he learned from the veteran members of the Celtics). Luke Harangody, a second-round pick in the 2010 draft who was dealt to Cleveland with Erden for a 2013 second-round draft pick, is not with the Cavaliers after being assigned to the D-League.