It's no secret that Paul Pierce had an injury-filled 2009-10 season. Lingering pain in his knee, foot and thumb, along with his somewhat unknown turf toe "that forced him to wear a brace and a half-inch of padding in his shoe throughout the Finals," had him considering shutting it down halfway through the year.
Oh, that knee. ESPN Boston's Jackie MacMullan recently sat down with Pierce to discuss his injury-plagued year, and it's then that he went into detail about his knee.
The first sign of trouble was a sore knee that wouldn't respond to treatment and forced Pierce to undergo "minor" surgery on Dec. 23, 2009, to clean out an infection. Doctors warned him that fluid would build up in the repaired knee, but Pierce wasn't expecting to have it drained nearly every week. Sometimes, Pierce said, the knee would "pop open," squirting foul liquid across the locker room.
And that's how the rest of the season went for Pierce and his "'geyser' knee."
Fortunately for Pierce -- and the Celtics -- he is feeling healthy, finally, a level he did not reach until this summer. Well, physically healthy. Mentally, the pain of last season's NBA Finals still lingers.
While eating lunch in L.A. this summer, a fan approached Pierce:
"He came back with the biggest Lakers flag I've ever seen," Pierce said. "Asked me to sign it. I snatched that thing from him and threw it [across the room]."