Coach: Mickael Pietrus 'out a while'

BOSTON -- Boston Celtics swingman Mickael Pietrus is still feeling the effects of a frightening concussion suffered in a fall last month in Philadelphia and is "going to be out a while," coach Doc Rivers said Sunday.

Rivers said Pietrus suffered a Grade III concussion (the most serious classification), and is still suffering from concussion symptoms, especially light sensitivity, and his timetable for returning to the court is uncertain.

Pietrus visited with his teammates for Sunday's matchup with the Miami Heat, his first trip to TD Garden since the injury.

"It's just great to see him. 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."

Pietrus suffered the injury when he crashed hard to the floor March 23 during the second quarter of the Celtics' 99-86 loss in Philadelphia. He was immobilized and taken from the court on a stretcher.

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 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 pop in briefly before the game, and Rivers said he was hoping to send him right back home. But in typical Pietrus fashion, he stayed until the end of the game to revel with his teammates after a big 91-72 win over the Heat. He wore sunglasses and a hood when he left the locker room to help with his sensitivity to light.

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," teammate Keyon Dooling said. "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: "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."