It is officially a game-time decision, but it looks like the Boston Celtics will get Rajon Rondo back in the lineup for their game against the Knicks Friday night.
Here is the report from A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.com.
Rondo, who has missed the last eight games with a right wrist injury, was an active participant in the team’s morning shootaround. Earlier this week, coach Doc Rivers said tonight’s game was a likely target date for the two-time all-star to return to action.
Rondo missed the last six games but the Celtics went 6-2 in that stretch, with Paul Pierce stepping up and taking on more of a playmaking role. They also were fortunate to have a soft spot in the schedule where only three of those games were against teams over .500 and two of those were against the collapsing Orlando Magic.
Rondo had averaged 15 points ad 9.4 assists per game. He rejoins an 11-10 Celtics team that is currently the seven seed in the East — and needs to win games such as against the Knicks (8-14, 10 seed) to maintain that standing.
Boston seems to be hitting it’s stride the last few games, with a rejuvenated Paul Pierce creating plays and Kevin Garnett playing like he’s in a bar fight.
Add Rajon Rondo to the mix and they should be even better.
That is not happening Tuesday against Kyrie Irving and the Cavaliers but should happen by Friday against the Knicks, Doc Rivers said. Here is the quote via our man A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.com.
“He’s back pretty soon,” Rivers said of Rondo. “He may play tomorrow (versus Toronto), but I’d say closer to Friday would be the target date.”
Tonight will be Rondo’s seventh game out with a wrist injury. So far the Celtics are 4-2 without him.
Jermaine O’Neal is expected to return to the Celtics lineup on Tuesday night. He had been out since Jan. 23 with a sore knee (after a knee-on-knee collision with Hedo Turkoglu).
If there is one player the Boston Celtics could not afford to lose this seas0n, it would be Rajon Rondo.
Which is why there were deep breaths taken Rondo took a hard foul by Toronto’s Linas Kleiza with 2:12 left in the third quarter. Rondo — who was in scoring not assist mode all night, finishing with 21 points and 2 assists — was driving the lane for a layup when he took a hard hit from Kleiza, one that caused Rondo to fall awkwardly. His right wrist got caught between himself and the floor. Kleiza was given a flagrant 1 foul for the hit.
Rondo hit one of his two foul shots then walked to the locker room with what was described as a “sore wrist” and did not return to the game.
After the game, Rondo said X-rays on the wrist were negative and said he was day-to-day. The Celtics are off until Friday when they host the Phoenix Suns.