Just when the Celtics were coming off a momentum-boosting win, right when Paul Pierce appeared to be rounding back into form, and at a time they face a difficult week of games, last night the team got even more bad injury news.
Mickael Pietrus, who played nearly 35 minutes in Sunday’s 100-94 win over the Wizards, and who didn’t appear to be hurt, sat out last night’s 87-56 demolition of the Magic at TD Garden because of a right shoulder injury.
He showed up for shootaround yesterday ailing, barely able to release a shot without pain. He strolled around the locker room as if he were in the lineup but was a late scratch.
Rajon Rondo (right wrist), Ray Allen (left ankle), Keyon Dooling (right knee), and Chris Wilcox (left calf) also were out.
Rondo said he is close to returning but received word from team doctor Brian McKeon that he needed a few more days. Coach Doc Rivers said Rondo is expected to return for Thursday’s rematch against the Magic.
Allen jammed his left ankle Sunday trying to get around Washington rookie Jan Vesely and was ruled out early yesterday afternoon.
Dooling may return Thursday.
With just 10 available players, Rivers decided to start Sasha Pavlovic at shooting guard and Avery Bradley at the point.
Pavlovic has been used little since starting the first three games, but he did make a brief appearance Sunday.
“We play the other guys, that’s what you do,’’ Rivers said. “We’ll just try to make do and play different guys.’’
Green checks in
The Celtics welcomed former forward Jeff Green, just two weeks removed from surgery to repair an aortic aneurysm.
Green, who will miss the rest of the season, greeted teammates and coaches but did not speak with the media. He met with the team at breakfast and talked with more employees and staff at the arena.
“It was awesome, it was great,’’ Rivers said of seeing Green. “We kidded around a lot. It was really good. I’m amazed, obviously. It was two weeks ago [surgery] and he’s walking around, and because some of us are sarcastic, we made a mention that he’s walking around and you guys who can’t play, how tough are you? The guys got a big kick out of that, but it was great. He’s a good, really good kid. And the news of the day is that he’s going to be able to play again.’’
Because the Celtics rescinded their qualifying offer, Green is an unrestricted free agent, but his agent, David Falk, said the player is interested in re-signing with Boston.
As the Celtics did a week ago with Kendrick Perkins, they paid tribute to ex-Celtic Glen “Big Baby’’ Davis with a video montage after the first timeout of the first quarter. Davis, who played four years filled with highs and lows with the Celtics, was traded to Orlando in the deal for Brandon Bass.
Davis said he wanted to return to the Celtics as a free agent, but a difficult relationship with Rivers and a subpar final season in Boston likely led to his exit.
“Yeah, you start your career somewhere, you don’t want to really leave, especially the memories you have here, you want to stay,’’ Davis said. “But that’s the way of the business. Some things don’t work out the way you want to and I found a new home.’’
Rivers acknowledged he was strict with Davis and he often made jokes to the media about Davis’s weight. But he said the goal was the motivate Davis into fulfilling his potential.
“He did a lot of good things and that’s one of the things I just kept saying,’’ Rivers said. “He was on the stage when we held up the [championship] ball. And he played a big part of that. He gave us a lot of laughs at times, which is good for your locker room.
“He gave us a lot of good things. He’s a better player sometimes I say than his act, if you know what I mean. And I was very hard on him, still am, when I talk to him about being the player and not the act. I think Baby has a lot of good basketball left in him.’’
Davis finished with 6 points and 11 rebounds in 24 minutes.
E’Twaun Moore hit a first-quarter jumper, snapping a 1-for-15 slump. Moore entered 7 for 30 for the season . . . Hedo Turkoglu, who missed the past two games with back spasms, was back in the lineup for Orlando . . . Bass started 51 games for the Magic last season. “I’ve played with a few teams, so it’s not a big deal to me,’’ he said . . . The Celtics will fly to Orlando tonight and spend nearly two full days in Florida before Thursday’s game.Gary Washburn can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can follow him on Twitter at @gwashburn14.