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Al Horford probable to play vs Miami; Kyrie Irving off the injury report

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Boston continues to manage veterans, but should be at full stretch vs the Heat

NBA: Boston Celtics at Orlando Magic Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Boston Celtics injury report for the team’s game on Monday against the Miami Heat is as short as it has been in a while. Only Al Horford is listed, and he’s probable to play. The Celtics and Horford have been managing through some left knee soreness for the big man as of late. This was not unexpected, as Brad Stevens had announced that Horford would be spotted some maintenance days down the stretch of the regular season. With no back-to-back games left on the schedule, Horford may be able to play out the string, as long as Boston has meaningful games remaining.

In addition to Horford being probable, Kyrie Irving was removed from the injury report entirely. Irving, like Horford, had missed the Celtics last game, a loss against the Brooklyn Nets, due to lower back soreness. While there is no doubt Irving’s back may have been sore, this was likely more of a “rest” day of sorts for Irving, with Boston on the second night of a back-to-back.

Miami will be without Rodney McGruder, Josh Richardson and Justise Winslow. All three are not with the Heat on the trip and have been out for the last several games. In addition, Derrick Jones Jr. is questionable to play due to personal reasons. This will leave Miami shorthanded in what is a must-win game for them, as the Heat are battling to make the playoffs in the Eastern Conference.

Despite working through some bumps and bruises, the Celtics are currently as healthy as they have been all season, and not a moment too soon. Boston is battling the Indiana Pacers for homecourt advantage in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs and faces a big week and a half of games. They are home against the Heat on Monday, then travel to Miami to complete the home-and-home on Wednesday. The Celtics then travel to Indiana for a key matchup with the Pacers. Boston will then finish the regular season next week with a home contest against the Orlando Magic on Sunday and a road game vs the Washington Wizards on Tuesday March 10th.