Pierce, Daniels: We're ready to play

Updated: February 6, 2010, 8:41 PM ET
By Chris Forsberg | ESPNBoston.com

WALTHAM, Mass. -- Paul Pierce (left mid-foot sprain) and Marquis Daniels (left thumb surgery) said after practice Saturday they're ready to play Sunday against the Magic.

But coach Doc Rivers marked them as game-time decisions.

Rivers, who said both players had 50 percent chance of playing Sunday, said Pierce looked OK walking through drills but was hesitant during live action.

Rivers said he was more encouraged by Daniels' performance, but might err on the side of caution and give him another practice or two before bringing him back to game action. "We didn't do too much [Saturday], we walked over some stuff and did a couple things live," Rivers said. "[Pierce] looked OK, but I'm not sure yet [about playing Sunday]. We'll see how he feels tomorrow& I thought he looked good until we ran a couple live plays, then he was a little hesitant. And if he's a hesitant, I'll probably sit him."

Pierce has missed the past two games after suffering a left mid-foot strain when he collided with Caron Butler diving after a loose ball during the first quarter of Monday's win over the Wizards. He admitted he might have been hesitant since it was his first live action since the injury forced him out during the second half of Monday's game.

But, regardless, he said he's ready to play.

"I feel I could have gone last game," said Pierce. "I'm really ready to go, if that's what y'all want to hear."

Pierce said he believes it will be his decision. He said the foot is doing better each day and it's simply the location of the injury, since he's never experienced a mid-foot sprain.

Pierce did indicate that he'd reevaluate after Sunday's game to determine his plan of attack. If all goes well, he expects to play against New Orleans in the final game before the All-Star break, then go participate in the festivities. But if the foot reacts poorly, he might have to consider another break.

Rivers suggested Daniels is likely to at least dress for Sunday's game and, if nothing else, could be used in an emergency situation.

"Marquis looked pretty good, actually," said Rivers. "Besides not knowing any of our stuff, he looked OK... Marquis played hard, he played normal. He just needs to figure out [the playbook]. ... Even if Marquis dresses, I'm still not sure he'll play.

"With Marquis, I'd prefer him have a really good practice, that we'd have Monday or Tuesday. But we may dress him and, if we need him, we'll play him."

Daniels didn't draw the full contact he's been seeking, but he gave nothing but positive reports on his thumb, noting the only lingering pain comes during rehab exercises as they break down the scar tissue.

"I think I'm ready," said Daniels. "Hopefully [Sunday] I'm ready to go, whatever minutes I get."

Daniels has missed 28 games since undergoing surgery to repair torn ligaments in his left thumb in early December.

Chris Forsberg is a roving reporter for ESPNBoston.com. Follow him on Twitter.

Chris Forsberg

Celtics reporter, ESPNBoston.com

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