Boston Celtics coach Brad Stevens said no final determination has been made, but that it "doesn't look like" Rajon Rondo will play against the Sacramento Kings on Friday night at TD Garden.
Rondo experienced general soreness after Wednesday's win in Philadelphia and was held out of practice Thursday. Making his weekly appearance on Boston sports radio 98.5 the Sports Hub on Friday afternoon, Stevens said both Rondo and backcourt mate Avery Bradley (ankle) are both questionable against the Kings.
"I don’t know how many games he’s played since Jan. 17, but it’s quite a few -- maybe eight or nine games since then, so you’re going to have just the fatigue on your other muscles and just general soreness that he has," Stevens said of Rondo, who has logged 205 minutes of court time in eight appearances since his return last month. "I think it doesn’t look like he’ll play [Friday] based on this early morning report that I got. We’ll hear final word when we get ready for our quick walkthrough at TD Garden at 4:45. Then Avery is also going to be determined later on tonight and that’s probably a better chance than Rondo, but still 50/50 that he would play."
The Celtics have exercised extreme caution with Rondo as he navigates the early stages of his return from an ACL tear that caused him to miss nearly a full year of basketball.
"I think the biggest thing is, not very many people can sit out of something for one year and then turn right back around and play [eight] games in 20 days... and not experience [general soreness]," said Stevens. "That’s going to happen. Our biggest thing with him is just being really conservative with making sure that, as he is going through this, that he feels good when he’s on the court because it’s really important as you’re coming back in and getting your rhythm and everything else that you play well.
"I think we’ve seen the last two games, he really played well, although he was sore towards the end of the Philly game, which he told us after the fact. I thought that a lot of it was probably because in the last two games, he’s played a lot of minutes and he’s really really played hard throughout the whole course of the game and the time he’s been in there, which again, his conditioning is real right now and that is in game situations."
Bradley sprained his right ankle last month and missed five games. That ankle became sore during Wednesday's win over the 76ers and he sat out the final part of the contest.
(h/t: Brian Robb at CelticsHub for audio of Stevens on 98.5)