Pregame: Rondo will play vs. Raptors

BOSTON -- Celtics coach Doc Rivers said point guard Rajon Rondo will return to action Saturday after sitting out Thursday's loss in Brooklyn due to a sprained right ankle.

Rondo turned the ankle landing awkwardly on a baseline drive in the third quarter of Wednesday's win over the Utah Jazz. He sat out the final 17 minutes that night and did not play in Brooklyn. Team trainer Ed Lacerte gave him clearance to return this morning.

"I don’t ever come to [the medical decision], honestly, him and Eddie walked in this morning and said they are ready," said Rivers. "So he’s ready."

What would cause Rivers to pull Rondo from the game?

"Limping, not being able to perform. The eyes always tell you," said Rivers. "It’s not brain surgery in that regard, especially with a guard, that makes it a lot easier. You can limp around as a big and still be effective, because you’re still big. But guards are pretty easy."

The Celtics and Raptors meet in a rare Saturday matinee at the Garden. Rivers noted that, as a coach, he's fine with the rare early tip-off, but admitted players typically hate them.

"As a coach, I love them -- not because of the game, because it gives you a ton of time after the game to prepare for the next game," said Rivers, whose squad travels to Detroit after the game to play the Pistons on Sunday. "But as a player, I never liked them. They just come too quick. Most players are creatures of habit. And it just takes you out of your routine. I think this is our only one this year, so that's the good news."

Back in Rivers' playing days, matinee games were hardly a rarity.

"We had tons of them," said Rivers. "I never liked them, but we had a lot of them. You always thought -- during an afternoon game as a player -- if you’re playing great, then you loved it that day. But if you’re playing poorly, you thought it was very difficult to pull yourself out of it. You haven’t had your normal mental preparation to get ready for a game. It felt like when you start struggling in an early game, you couldn’t just pull yourself out of it."

Check out the video embedded at the top of the entry to watch Rivers' reaction to news that Hostess is going out of business. Told that Twinkies might no longer be made, Rivers playfully noted, "Twinkies went out of business?! You’re kidding me. Well, that sucks. I haven't had one in like 30 years now, but I’m sure it’s still in my body."