Paul Pierce out with bad thumb, flu

Updated: February 24, 2010, 10:40 AM ET
By Chris Forsberg | ESPNBoston.com

Boston Celtics guard Paul Pierce is out indefinitely with a right thumb injury and did not even come to the TD Garden Tuesday night for a game against the New York Knicks as he also has the flu, according to Celtics coach Doc Rivers.

Marquis Daniels started in place of Pierce, who struggled mightily after spraining his right thumb during the first half of a win over the Los Angeles Lakers Thursday night. Pierce suggested Monday that he'd talk to Rivers about shutting himself down for a few days to allow the hand to heal.

"He just hurt his hand. We'll go one day at a time," Rivers said before Tuesday's 110-106 win. "He's not even in the building tonight -- he's got the flu, too. He wouldn't have played with the hand injury, but with the flu, we felt it was good to stay at home."

Rivers reiterated Pierce's stance that he's "day to day" but also acknowledged that, if Pierce needs an extended break to get back to full strength, the Celtics are prepared for that.

"Oh yeah, I'm comfortable with any of our guys being out. I've gotten used to it," Rivers joked. "It's not what you want, but, listen, we went 3-1 [on a recent four-game road trip] without Paul giving us much of anything because of his health. We can win without him. We just can't win a long time without him. We need him back and we need him healthy. He's our best offensive player. He creates stuff for everyone, even when he's not scoring. His presence on the floor draws attention. We need him back and we need him back healthy.

"The way we did it didn't work out, so we have to get him healthy."

Chris Forsberg covers the Celtics for ESPNBoston.com.

Chris Forsberg

Celtics reporter, ESPNBoston.com

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