Celtics' Pietrus (concussion) not near returning

BOSTON — Boston Celtics swingman Mickael Pietrus is still feeling the effects of a frightening concussion suffered in a fall last month in Philadelphia and is “going to be out a while,” coach Doc Rivers said Sunday.

Rivers said Pietrus suffered a Grade III concussion (the most serious classification), and is still suffering from concussion symptoms, especially light sensitivity, and his timetable for returning to the court is uncertain.

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Pietrus was expected to visit with his teammates before Sunday’s matchup with the Miami Heat, his first trip to TD Garden since the injury.

“He’s coming, but he’s not going to be able to stay with the lights and stuff,” Rivers said before the game. “He’s going to try to — this is his first day of him venturing out into the light, literally. He’s going to come in, I think he’s going to say ‘Hi’ to the guys, then we’re going to try to get him back in the car and back home. He’s not responding very well.

“It’s just great to see him. I don’t think anybody has seen him since the injury. It will be great to have him in the locker room. He’s texting me a lot now, which is great, and that’s terrific that he’s able to do that. Again, we haven’t even started the (concussion) tests. He’s going to be out a while.”

Pietrus suffered the injury when he crashed hard to the floor March 23 during the second quarter of the Celtics’ 99-86 loss in Philadelphia. He was immobilized and taken from the court on a stretcher.

Pressed on whether that meant the Celtics were starting to fear Pietrus might not be back this season, Rivers suggested the team is just taking it day by day to see how he improves.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if he played next week (and) I wouldn’t be surprised if we didn’t see him,” Rivers said. “I just don’t know. With that injury, I don’t think anyone really knows now.

“When I played it was easy, we just played the next day and (Rivers’ former coach) Mike Fratello would yell at me for not playing well. Now I call Mike all the time and tell him, ‘I have an excuse!’ But really it’s amazing what we didn’t know back then and what we know now. I’m glad we know it now.”

Chris Forsberg

Celtics reporter, ESPNBoston.com

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