Pierce returns for Celtics

Boston Celtics forward Paul Pierce was in the starting lineup and was expected to make his season debut in Friday night's home game against the Detroit Pistons.

A bruised right heel forced Pierce to sit out Boston's opening swing through New York, Miami and New Orleans.

"Paul is in. I will start him. He's had one practice three weeks ago. We'll go by eyesight and build him up," Celtics coach Doc Rivers said Friday, about an hour prior to tip-off.

Without Pierce, the Celtics have dropped their first three games and are trying to avoid their first 0-4 start since 1969-70, one season after the franchise's 11th championship. The Celtics have lost their first three games to start a season for the first time since 2006-07 following Wednesday's 97-78 loss in New Orleans.

Celtics forward Chris Wilcox is expected to miss tonight's game due to a bruised left shoulder.