Rajon Rondo out for Celtics vs. Nets Thursday, Barbosa starts

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You had to know this was coming — it’s the second game of a back-to-back, ankle injuries can linger and Boston needs Rondo healthy in the long run.

Rajon Rondo will be out Thursday night against the Nets, tweets A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.com. Leandro Barbosa will start in his place.

Rondo rolled his ankle in the third quarter of the Celtics win Wednesday night over Utah. He was driving to the rim, it was an innocent play. But in the first weeks of the season there is no reason for Boston to take a chance here.

Besides Barbosa, you can also bet this means more Jason Terry and Courtney Lee minutes as well.

Rondo made a leap forward in hi leadership role on the team his having his best season as a pro — 14.3 points per game on 51 percent shooting with 12.5 assists per game. All of those are career highs. That’s not easy to replace.