BOSTONThursday's game against the Milwaukee Bucks was the ninth straight Ray Allen-less game for the Boston Celtics, which brings the Celtics one step closer to beginning the playoffs this weekend without him available.
Rivers characterized the likelihood of Allen being available for Sunday's Game 1 matchup with Atlanta as "probable."
"In football terms, isn't that the word they use when it's more than 50 percent that he's going to play?" Rivers said. "So let's put him at probable."
The longer he's out, the less likely it becomes that he can make an immediate impact or play at a level comparable to what the C's and Allen have become accustomed to this time of year.
"He's not played in quite a while," Rivers said. "To go from zero to 100, which is what the playoffs are, is very difficult. But when you put Ray on the floor you still have to guard him. Having him on the floor gives us something; it gives us spacing."
Danny Ainge, Boston's president of basketball operations, is among those unsure of when Allen will return to the lineup or what kind of impact will he be able to make.
"Whenever anybody's seeing doctors, it's no fun this time of the year," Ainge told CSNNE.com. "The fact that it's not 100 percent is a concern. I'm still hopeful, but concerned."
Ainge did not anticipate any additional tests would be performed on the ankle, which has already underwent X-rays and an MRI.
"I don't know if there are any more tests we can do," Ainge said. "It's the human body. It's taking longer to heal than obviously Ray would want, or we would want. We're just going to have to be patient, and wait for it to heal, hopefully sooner rather than later."
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