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Paul Pierce has been playing through a pinched nerve this season

By Royce Young | NBA writer

The Celtics have taken a beating from the injury bug this season. Three players done for the season, others battling through significant nagging issues.

One player being Paul Pierce, who told CSNNE.com that he has a pinched nerve in his neck.

“It's something that's been bothering me probably like the last two months,” Pierce said after the Celtics' 71-69 win over the Chicago Bulls. “It's getting better, though. The last couple of weeks, it's been better than it has been.”

Pierce is averaging 18.5 points on a career-low 41.5 percent from the field, so obviously the pinched nerve could be having an impact.

Or, it could be the fact that he's 35 years old and finally starting to see his skills decline some.

But Pierce is tough and doesn't make excuses. He's not going to bring up his injury every other night, he's not going to talk about shutting things down, he's not going to talk about the future of his career and what's best for him.

He's going to just go out and play. Does it hurt? I'm sure it does. But there's a difference in being hurt and being injured.

Plus, Pierce doesn't really have an option at this point. Without Rajon Rondo, the Celtics need his production more than ever. Boston has won seven of eight after losing Rondo, thus keeping its season on life support. And if the Celtics are going to go anywhere but down the rest of the way, it's going to come largely on Pierce's shoulders. And neck.

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