Celtics Sanitize Facilities after Pierce, West Infections

WALTHAM - The Sports Authority Training Center at HealthPoint and the Celtics locker room and facilities at the TD Banknorth Garden will be professionally cleaned this weekend after a bacteria issue gave Delonte West (ingrown toenail infection) and Paul Pierce (finger) infections that were previously thought to be unrelated.

As a result of the infections, all Celtics players and basketball operations staff are also being tested for bacterial infections. It's not as uncommon as you may think, and many college and professional teams have had issues with bacteria infections in the past. Players have thrown out personal hygiene items as part of the sanitization process.

Pierce's infection caused him to miss the last two preseason games, and he had half of his fingernail removed from the infected digit.

"It's feeling good, but it's sore from the surgery I had on it," said Pierce. "They cut half of my nail off. If they use a knife, it's surgery."

Pierce Ready to Roll

After addressing the bacteria issue, Pierce got back to talking hoops. He's ready for the regular season to start, and while the team hasn't really started to prepare for their opening week opponents -- that comes this weekend -- they are finalizing roles and the starting lineup.

Doc Rivers is still adding things to the playbook as well; the team installed a new defensive set toward the end of practice.

"We added a couple more wrinkles today, but I think we'll have a pretty good idea tomorrow and the next couple of days," Pierce said. "It's time to go now. It's for real."

Pierce stressed the importance of the team getting off to a strong start.

"We want to do a better job than we did a year ago protecting our home court," said Pierce. "We've got to become a better road team."

Allen at Ease after Extension

When aksed about a radio report on Wednesday that the Celtics would pick up his 2007-2008 option, Tony Allen said that he hadn't heard one way or the other, and didn't pay attention to the media. He said he spends his free time playing Playstation, not tuning in to talk radio. But with the extension officially announced Thursday night, Allen can officially relax.

"I'm happy they picked it up. It doesn't mean I can stop working, I've still got a lot of work to do. I was always told that hard work always pays off. There's more hard work to be done, [and maybe] I'll get another extension," Allen quipped.

As for his progress, Allen likes how his knee -- and his game -- is coming along.

"I like my progress, I think I strengthen it every day, just at practice, taking jump shots and regular work with Bryan Doo and Walter Norton."

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