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Mending Garnett sits out vs. Clips, unsure if he'll travel to Minnesota

BOSTON -- Boston forward Kevin Garnett missed his fifth
consecutive game with an abdominal strain Wednesday night and
couldn't say whether he'll travel with the Celtics to play his
former team, the Minnesota Timberwolves, on Friday night.

Speaking to reporters before Boston played the Los Angeles
Clippers, Garnett said he's improving but still not ready to play.

"I'm getting better fast," he said. "That's a good sign."

Garnett was injured during the game against the Timberwolves in
Boston on Jan. 25, missing four minutes near the end of the fourth
quarter because of a sharp pain in his stomach. He returned with
1:51 left and the Celtics trailing by five points, but Minnesota
didn't score again; Garnett's steal at midcourt sealed Boston's
victory.

But he hasn't been able to play since, and the Celtics have gone
2-2 without him.

"It's hard for me to watch my guys out there playing without
me," Garnett said. "I can't really watch a lot of games, watch
them in the back. That's hard for me. ... I'm trying to have a good
attitude about it and be a good Samaritan about it at the same
time."

Even without Garnett, Boston's 36-9 record is the best in the
NBA. Coach Doc Rivers has said he is willing to go without his star
in the short-term to make sure the injury heals completely.

"From the day I injured myself up until this day I've gotten
better each and every day, so that's a big plus," Garnett said.
"The first three days were probably the most difficult. ... I've
been talking to Doc every day, letting him know."

Garnett said the injury was hurting when he sneezed, coughed,
laughed and tossed and turned in bed. While he has tried to play
through previous injuries, he knows that won't help him this time.

"The doctors want to make sure I'm smart and I'm not doing
anything heroic, as they put it," Garnett said. "They want to
make sure that I'm healthy. We have another half of a season of
basketball to play, and that's the priority here."

Garnett was the leading vote-getter in fan balloting for the
Feb. 17 All-Star game in New Orleans. He didn't say whether his
appearance in the game was in jeopardy.

"It's been day-to-day," he said. "There's no certain date to
when I'm coming back. We haven't talked about specifics."