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Celtics' Ainge could be out of hospital by Sunday

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The Canadian Press
4/17/2009 3:04:27 PM
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BOSTON -- Boston Celtics general manager Danny Ainge won't be at the team's playoff opener after his minor heart attack.

Team spokesman Jeff Twiss said Friday that Ainge is resting comfortably and could be released from Massachusetts General Hospital by Sunday. Boston plays the Chicago Bulls on Saturday and then again on Monday before going on the road for Game 3 next Thursday.

A spokeswoman for Massachusetts General Hospital referred comment to the team.

Ainge was hospitalized Thursday morning after missing Wednesday night's regular-season finale because he wasn't feeling well. The team described the heart attack as "minor."

Celtics coach Doc Rivers and Bulls coach Vinny Del Negro said they had sent text messages to Ainge, a guard on two Celtics championship teams in the 1980s with Larry Bird, Kevin McHale and Robert Parish. Ainge was an NBA all-star in 1988.

"He's doing much better and just needs rest," Rivers said. "It scared the heck out of me. It really did."

Del Negro said after Chicago's practice that Ainge is "a tough guy and I expect him to get to the series as soon as he can feel healthy enough. But, knowing him, he's like a caged bear, probably, trying to get there."

Ainge was hospitalized on the same day that Rivers said Kevin Garnett's knee injury probably would sideline him for the playoffs.

"Emotionally, you go on roller coasters all year," Ray Allen said, "and then, at the end of the year, the time when you want to be going moving in the right direction and having that great momentum, those were definitely two blows to this organization so far this post-season.

"But, hopefully, it brings everybody together closer."

Ainge's heart attack provides perspective on what's really important, Allen added.

"This trumped all things," he said. "We all feel like we're invincible. We feel like our hearts are so strong and our bodies are so strong, but sometimes things happen that are unexplainable."

Danny Ainge (Photo: Darren McCollester/NBAE via Getty Images)

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(Photo: Darren McCollester/NBAE via Getty Images)
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