Just days after passing his first baseline test following a concussion in late March, Mickael Pietrus was cleared for a return in limited action Wednesday. Doc Rivers said he would be available off the bench and play between five and 10 minutes against the Hawks.
"He's been cleared," Rivers announced less than an hour before tipoff Wednesday. "The sooner we can get him on the floor the better. I didn't expect it."
Pietrus, who told reporters before the game that he would try to make the trip to Toronto for Friday's game, was cleared to return immediately and could take the place of Ray Allen on the Celtics bench. Allen was ruled out by Rivers before Wednesday's game with the Celtics to rest his sore left ankle.
"It was scary," Pietrus said of his March 23 whiplash in the second quarter against the 76ers. "It's been a tough two weeks for me. It's fine now. It's perfect."
Pietrus also told reporters he's only played 1-on-1 and hasn't taken part in any 5-on-5 practices.
"Today is a great day for me, it's been the best day so far," Pietrus said. "Hopefully, when I step on the floor – because I haven't expanded to a five on five (games) yet, so I don't know what I look like, so hopefully I do well for my team."
The surprising announcement before Wednesday's game comes just three days after Rivers announced Sunday that Pietrus had passed the first of several tests required for a return to action.