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Green absence a concern

He needs tests after issue with physical

By Gary Washburn
Globe Staff / December 13, 2011
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WALTHAM - The Celtics were nearly a full squad yesterday as training camp kicked into the next gear, yet the absence of Jeff Green caused more concern than just a normal day-to-day injury.

Team doctors noticed something during Green’s physical and he is undergoing more tests for an undisclosed medical issue, according to team president Danny Ainge.

Green practiced shooting Sunday but has yet to practice and he could be out a few more days.

Ainge said the team is being “cautious’’ with Green.

“We anticipate he’ll be here soon, practicing,’’ Ainge said. “I don’t think very long.

“He’s just going through the tests again, and we should have them and he should be fine. I’m not going to tell you what it is.’’

Green signed a one-year deal for more than the $5.9 million qualifying offer and is expected to be an essential part of the Celtics’ championship hopes because of his youth, versatility, and the team’s need for depth in a compacted season.

The situation puts the Celtics even further behind as they prepare for the Christmas Day opener against the Knicks at New York.

When asked if the issue would affect Green’s contract, Ainge said: “Oh no, no, no, we’re not even close to that yet. It’s just precautionary, practice just started today, it will be resolved this week.’’

Green was acquired with Nenad Krstic for Kendrick Perkins and Nate Robinson in February.

Green averaged 9.8 points and 3.3 rebounds in 26 regular-season games for the Celtics last season.

Pavlovic in fold

The Celtics signed Sasha Pavlovic to a one-year guaranteed contract. He played extensively for the Cavaliers during their 2007 run to the NBA Finals and was signed by the Celtics to bolster their bench late last season. Pavlovic averaged 1.8 points in 8.8 minutes.

Celtics coach Doc Rivers raved about Pavlovic’s skills but wants the 28-year-old swingman to be more aggressive.

“I believe he can be a good player,’’ Rivers said.

“I told him that last year. I told him in our exit meetings that his talent is in him, [the issue is] all between his ears.

“He’s still relatively young and we’re going to try to get it out of him.’’

Mini deal

Ainge said the team used its mini mid-level exception on Chris Wilcox, meaning the Celtics only have minimum contracts to offer, unless they use the amnesty clause. That would allow the Celtics to buy out a current player without salary-cap penalties.

Ainge said last week the team would not use that clause.

When asked about free agent Delonte West, Ainge said the team’s interest was uncertain.

West wanted to return but signed a one-year deal last night with the Mavericks, according to an NBA source.

Heel time

Paul Pierce participated in most of practice but sat out the final portion to have his sore right heel massaged. Rajon Rondo (sprained right ankle) did not practice but watched from the sideline. Rivers said Rondo will return today or tomorrow . . . Rookies E’Twaun Moore and JaJuan Johnson and newly acquired Brandon Bass participated in practice, and Rivers lauded Moore for his work. “He was one of the best players in the gym today, forget being a rookie. The white [team] won both scrimmages and he carried the games. That was good to see,’’ Rivers said . . . Agent Mark Bartelstein said he will talk to Ainge about the Celtics’ interest in James Posey, who was waived by the Pacers through the amnesty clause. Posey was a member of the Celtics’ 2008 title team but hasn’t been the same player since he signed a four-year contract with the Hornets after that title season. Posey shot 33 percent from the field in 49 games with the Pacers last season . . . Rivers said he is open to playing as many as 10 or 11 players in the regular rotation because of the added depth and compacted schedule. Rivers usually goes with an eight- or nine-man rotation.

Gary Washburn can be reached at You can follow him on Twitter at @gwashburn14

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