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 Friday, September 29
Two suspects arraigned
 Associated Press

BOSTON -- Paul Pierce, his eye swollen and forehead bandaged, walked out of the hospital three days after being stabbed nearly a dozen times, hoping for a quick return to the Boston Celtics.

Before a few dozen cheering onlookers, Pierce was accompanied by his mother and two brothers as he left New England Medical Center on Thursday.

"I'd just like to tell everybody I feel good," he said. "I can't wait to get back on the basketball court and join my Celtics teammates."

Pierce, speaking from a podium, wore sunglasses over a swollen right eye and a black Celtics cap that nearly covered a bandage on his forehead. He thanked his family, the hospital and fans before leaving in a white stretch limo.

Pierce was stabbed in his face, neck and back and hit over the head with a bottle at a private nightclub party Monday. The 22-year-old swingman, an emerging star for the Celtics, had lung surgery, with the other wounds mostly superficial.

The Celtics begin training camp Monday, but Pierce did not indicate if he'd be there.

Two of the three men police believe attacked Pierce pleaded innocent to charges of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and were ordered held on $15,000 cash bail.

Prosecutors say Tony Hurston, 31, also known as Tony McCrary, initiated the fight in the club's pool room. They say he came up behind Pierce, punched him and hit him on the head with a bottle as he lay on the ground.

At some point, prosecutors contend, Trevor Watson, 34, and William Ragland, 28, joined the fight and stabbed Pierce. The motive is under investigation.

Ragland, also charged with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, remained at large. Meanwhile, Hurston posted $15,000 bail and was released from Nashua Street Jail, according to his attorney, John Swomley.

Hurston's lawyer, John Swomley, says his client was at the club but left when the fight began. Hurston was working in New York when he learned Tuesday of his arrest warrant and returned to Boston to surrender. Swomley added that Hurston has no prior criminal record.

"My client has never met Mr. Pierce, does not know Mr. Pierce and has no vendetta against Mr. Pierce," Swomley said.

The three men charged reportedly have ties to the rap group Made Men, whom Swomley also represents.

Watson was with Made Men member Raymond E. "Ray Dog" Scott when the rapper was arrested and pepper sprayed at the Braintree Mall by police. The two men were questioned by police after a store employee reported that Scott had made large credit card purchase.

The card turned out to be Scott's. Scott filed charges against the police, who were later acquitted.

A judge denied the request by prosecutors to demand a $250,000 cash bail from Watson. He was out on supervised release after a July 1999 conviction for weapons possession.

Pierce, 6-foot-7 and 220 pounds, averaged 19.5 points and was second in the NBA in steals with 2.08 a game. An All-American at Kansas, Pierce was drafted in the first round in 1998 after his junior season.

 Paul Pierce can't wait to get back on the basketball court.
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 Dana Barros' prayers go out to his former teammate Paul Pierce and his family.
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 Walter McCarty hopes for a speedy recovery for his teammate Paul Pierce.
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 Rick Pitino answers reporters' questions after visiting Paul Pierce.
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