Pierce, West infections prompt Celts to sanitize

Updated: October 28, 2006, 1:48 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

Teams can't just worry about athlete's foot anymore.

On the same day the Cleveland Browns said the team has a staph infection outbreak, the Boston Celtics announced on Friday that they have a bacterial infection issue.

Guard Delonte West developed an ingrown toenail infection and captain Paul Pierce sustained a finger infection. At first they were thought to be unrelated, but now that does not appear to be the case.

The team's training facility in Waltham, Mass., and the locker room and other facilities at TD Banknorth Garden in Boston will be sanitized.

The Boston Globe reported on Friday that the Celtics are battling the same problem as the Browns: Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus or MRSA, a staph infection that is resistant to commonly used antibiotics.

''I'm glad [trainer] Eddie [Lacerte] and [team] Doc [Brian McKeon] thought it was strange that it was strange that basically they were tiny cuts and two guys have pretty bad infections,'' Pierce told the newspaper. ''Let's hope it's taken care of because it can be dangerous I guess.''

Pierce has missed the last two preseason games and had half of the fingernail on the affected hand removed.

"It's feeling good, but it's sore from the surgery I had on it," Pierce told Celtics.com. "They cut half of my nail off. If they use a knife, it's surgery."

The Browns have had five cases of staph infection in the past three years.

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