Nate Robinson hopes to play vs. Heat

Updated: February 12, 2011, 5:47 PM ET
By Chris Forsberg | ESPNBoston.com

WALTHAM, Mass. -- Boston Celtics reserve guard Nate Robinson (bruised right knee) participated in only the walkthrough portions of Saturday's session, but said he is hopeful he can suit up for Sunday's visit from the Miami Heat.

Boston could sure use him.

The Celtics limped through another injury-plagued practice Saturday at the Sports Authority Training Center at HealthPoint with 10 available bodies. Shaquille O'Neal (inflamed Achilles), Semih Erden (right adductor strain), Jermaine O'Neal (left knee surgery), and Marquis Daniels (bruised spine) were not part of the on-court action.

Reserve guard Delonte West, chomping at the bit for a return from a fractured right wrist that has shelved him since late November, did engage in his second full-contact practice of the week, but Celtics coach Doc Rivers indicated they'd like to get West two more practices early next week before squeezing him back into game action in Wednesday's pre-All-Star finale against the New Jersey Nets.

After banging knees with Shannon Brown, Robinson hopped off the court after committing an intentional foul on Kobe Bryant early in the second quarter in Thursday's loss, leaving Boston with nine available players.

"Oh no, when I shot, I got too close and when I landed, [Brown] landed at the same time and it was like a perfect [collision], like we hit knees perfectly," said Robinson. "I watched it over and over. [Team trainer Ed Lacerte] said it was like a perfect hit."

Robinson said he hadn't undergone an MRI on the knee and will wear a brace that might allow him to get through the game.

"I didn't do the MRI yet; I'm just getting treatment right now," said Robinson. "It's cool. [We're going to go with] a knee brace. I'll be straight."

Robinson kept his sense of humor about the situation, noting he actually played with a bigger brace in New York during the early stages of his career.

"I think once in New York I had a messed up knee for a couple of weeks," Robinson said. "I wore a big ol' knee brace then, like [Kendrick Perkins']. I had one of those and, for a guard, that's ugly, so I couldn't be seen with that thing for too long. That was nasty."

Robinson said he'll stick around all Saturday night for treatment if that's what it takes. He's already done it once on Friday, noting he left the facility around 11 p.m. on the team's offday Friday.

"I hope [I can play]," said Robinson. "I'm just going to go in here and get treatment. I ain't going to leave here all night, like last night."

The news was less encouraging on Shaq and Erden. Rivers said neither has responded well to treatment and their returns could be pushed back even beyond the All-Star break.

"Semih's groin is not improving; Shaq's Achilles is not improving at all," said Rivers. "Obviously, we thought we'd have both back by [Thursday's game against the Lakers]. But that's fine, they're good."

Pressed on Shaq's injury, Rivers said only: "It just hasn't healed. It's no worse, it just hasn't healed as quickly."

Robinson maintained his optimistic approach, not ready to lean on the injury crutch.

"We've just got to find a way to win, regardless of who goes down," said Robinson. "That's why it's called a team. You have other guys, not just one guy. Guys play through injuries, you've just got to, you know, keep fighting through it and we'll be alright."

Reminded it's been something new each day, he just shook his head and added: "Everyday's a mystery."

Chris Forsberg covers the Celtics for ESPNBoston.com.

Chris Forsberg

Celtics reporter, ESPNBoston.com

SPONSORED HEADLINES

EDITORS' PICKS

MORE NBA HEADLINES