Pierce likely back; KG, House out

WALTHAM, Mass. -- On the day that the Boston Celtics' Paul Pierce and Rajon Rondo returned to the practice court, Kendrick Perkins and Eddie House were sidelined by a bout with the flu.

Pierce and Rondo could rejoin the starting lineup Wednesday night in Miami as the Celtics kick off a three-game road trip (though Celtics coach Doc Rivers noted that Rondo is more of a game-time decision). Perkins traveled with the team to Florida Tuesday afternoon, but House, who was still nursing a fever, did not (though he could join the team Wednesday if he's feeling better).

"The circus continues," joked Rivers, who also returned to practice after missing Monday's session due to a personal matter.

"Paul looked good, Rondo you couldn't tell because he didn't do much," Rivers said. "So we'll see [Wednesday]. I think [Rondo is] going to go, but I wouldn't write that down in pen, for sure. Paul probably will [play Wednesday], that's what it looks like. So that would help us a lot. Just getting one of those guys back, I'd be happy. Both would be absolutely fantastic."

Rivers sounded less optimistic about Perkins and House, considering league rules about players with fevers, especially in light of the widespread H1N1 illness this year.

"The league has really pressed upon us that, if a guy has a fever, he has to stay away from the team, because he's contagious at that point," said Rivers.

Pierce, sidelined the past five games after a pair of procedures to drain fluid in his right knee after an infection was discovered last month, said he'll evaluate his status again Wednesday morning, but was preparing to play for the first time since Dec. 22.

"We'll see how it feels, but I got a good practice in [Tuesday]," said Pierce. "It's not 100 percent, but it's getting better.

"I'm about as confident as I'm going to be until it's 100 percent. I'm not feeling any pressure or pain when I push off on it because, as I said, it wasn't any ligament damage. It's just a matter of the swelling going down each day. We're down to the fact [of how far] I can bend it, and I have a lot more flexibility the past few days."

Pierce wore a black sleeve over the right knee and appeared to be moving well from the final moments of practice viewed by the media.

Pierce said the real key would be getting his timing back on the floor, but joked that he hadn't been out that long and he saw "flashes" of his old self Tuesday.

Rivers indicated Kevin Garnett is also likely to travel with the team, but is unlikely to play as he recovers from a hyperextended right knee. He did not practice Tuesday.

Chris Forsberg covers the Celtics for ESPNBoston.com. Follow him on Twitter.