Celtics

Garnett (hip flexor) probable after shootaround

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Garnett (hip flexor) probable after shootaround

WALTHAM The Boston Celtics will be once again be short-handed when they host the Detroit Pistons tonight.

There was some glimmer of optimism, though, following the team's shootaround this morning. There's a chance that both Kevin Garnett (hip flexor) and Mickael Pietrus (knee) -- players that head coach Doc Rivers said on Tuesday were both doubtful for tonight's game -- are available.

Pietrus said "of course," when asked by CSNNE.com if he were playing tonight. And a team official said Garnett, who participated fully in the team's shoot-around, is probable.

The only Celtic player to not participate in the team's shoot-around is Brandon Bass. He told CSNNE.com that he would not return to the floor until sometime after the All-Star break.

Jermaine O'Neal, who did not play on Sunday against Chicago because of a shoulder injury, told reporters Wednesday morning that he will play tonight.

That means Chris Wilcox, who had 11 points and nine rebounds filling in for O'Neal in Boston's win over Chicago, will once again be coming off the bench.

If Garnett is unable to play, the C's will likely turn to JaJuan Johnson who had a career-high 12 points off the bench in the win over Chicago.

Bill Russell, Kobe Bryant post messages to Gordon Hayward

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Bill Russell, Kobe Bryant post messages to Gordon Hayward

A couple of NBA legends - one old school and one more modern-day - were among the luminaries wishing Gordon Hayward well after his gruesome ankle injury in the Celtics' season opener in Cleveland on Tuesday night.

Celtics legend Bill Russell tweeted his best wishes to Hayward on Twitter and future Hall of Famer Kobe Bryant posted a message to him on Instagram.

Be sad. Be mad. Be frustrated. Scream. Cry. Sulk. When you wake up you will think it was just a nightmare only to realize it’s all too real. You will be angry and wish for the day back, the game back THAT play back. But reality gives nothing back and nor should you. Time to move on and focus on doing everything in your power to prepare for surgery, ask all the questions to be sure you understand fully the procedure so that you may visualize it in your subconscious while being operated on and better the chance of it’s success. Then focus on the recovery process day by day by day. It’s a long journey but if you focus on the mini milestones along the way you will find beauty in the struggle of doing simple things that prior to this injury were taken for granted. This will also mean that when you return you will have a new perspective. You will be so appreciative of being able to stand, walk, run that you will train harder than you ever have. You see the belief within you grow with each mini milestone and you will come back a better player for it. Best of luck to you on this journey my brother #mambamentality always.

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Hayward went down about five minutes into his first regular-season game with the C's and is awaiting surgery for an ankle dislocation and fracture at New England Baptist Hospital.

New Celtics teammate Kyrie Irving and the player Irving was traded for, Isaiah Thomas, also posted Monday in the aftermath of the injury. 

WE ALL got you brother, No matter what. @gdhayward 3/23 πŸ”ΊπŸ‘β˜˜οΈ

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