BOSTON (AP) — Boston forward Kevin Garnett missed his fifth consecutive game with an abdominal strain Wednesday night and couldn’t say whether he’ll travel with the Celtics to play his former team, the Minnesota Timberwolves, on Friday night.

Speaking to reporters before Boston played the Los Angeles Clippers, Garnett said he’s improving but still not ready to play.

“I’m getting better fast,” he said. “That’s a good sign.”

Garnett was injured during the game against the Timberwolves in Boston on Jan. 25, missing four minutes near the end of the fourth quarter because of a sharp pain in his stomach. He returned with 1:51 left and the Celtics trailing by five points, but Minnesota didn’t score again; Garnett’s steal at midcourt sealed Boston’s victory.

But he hasn’t been able to play since, and the Celtics have gone 2-2 without him.

“It’s hard for me to watch my guys out there playing without me,” Garnett said. “I can’t really watch a lot of games, watch them in the back. That’s hard for me. … I’m trying to have a good attitude about it and be a good Samaritan about it at the same time.”

Even without Garnett, Boston’s 36-9 record is the best in the NBA. Coach Doc Rivers has said he is willing to go without his star in the short-term to make sure the injury heals completely.

“From the day I injured myself up until this day I’ve gotten better each and every day, so that’s a big plus,” Garnett said. “The first three days were probably the most difficult. … I’ve been talking to Doc every day, letting him know.”

Garnett said the injury was hurting when he sneezed, coughed, laughed and tossed and turned in bed. While he has tried to play through previous injuries, he knows that won’t help him this time.

“The doctors want to make sure I’m smart and I’m not doing anything heroic, as they put it,” Garnett said. “They want to make sure that I’m healthy. We have another half of a season of basketball to play, and that’s the priority here.”

Garnett was the leading vote-getter in fan balloting for the Feb. 17 All-Star game in New Orleans. He didn’t say whether his appearance in the game was in jeopardy.

“It’s been day-to-day,” he said. “There’s no certain date to when I’m coming back. We haven’t talked about specifics.”

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