WALTHAM, Mass. – Boston Celtics captain Paul Pierce says he is ready to return after missing three games with a sprained right thumb.

Pierce practiced with the team Monday and said he expected to play tonight in Detroit against the Pistons.

Boston is coming off back-to-back home losses to Cleveland — the top team in the Eastern Conference — and the New Jersey Nets, the NBA’s worst team with only six wins.

Pierce said it was difficult watching his teammates drop those games without him and hopes the Celtics can get back on track on the road, where they have a better record this season than on their home court.