"I was in the back room when Rondo had the dislocated elbow, and he was in an amazing amount of pain," Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge said Friday. "I mean, he was trying to get back out on the court now. He didn't want to ice it, he didn't want the X-ray. He said, 'Pop it back, tape it up, let's go.' He was worried about the clock running down in the game and he was in excruciating pain and it was amazing what he was able to accomplish.
"He loves to play. No one can question Rajon and his toughness, and his desire to play."
Celtics big man Jermaine O'Neal is not so lucky on the surgery front. He will undergo wrist surgery. O'Neal tore cartilage in his left wrist during the preseason while taking a charge in Toronto, then further damaged that area taking another charge in the first round of the playoffs against the New York Knicks.
"Jermaine is sort of the quiet one through this," Ainge said. "Jermaine endured a lot this year, and Jermaine needs some pretty serious surgery on his left wrist, and he played. Jermaine is left-handed. Most people don't know this, but he dunks and finished and drives and does everything with his left hand. He blocks shots -- he was able to do that still with his left hand, but ... his left wrist was seriously hurt, and fractured and he needs surgery, and probably pins put in his wrist. So yeah, our guys wanted it, and I'll never question that."
O'Neal said after Wednesday's loss that he will take time this offseason to evaluate his own future, but the 32-year-old center (with a lot of NBA miles on his tires) remains under contract for one more season at $6.2 million.
Ainge also wasn't sure what the future holds for Shaquille O'Neal.
Right Achilles and calf injuries sidelined him for all but 17½ minutes in three appearances after Feb. 1. O'Neal boasts a player option for the 2011-12 season at the veteran's minimum.
"[Shaq's future] doesn't matter right now, from any of our planning, at this minute," Ainge said. "I like everybody to just take some time off after emotional losses and get your heads together and we'll talk about that in a future time."
With the future of the two big men in question, Ainge said he would like to re-sign free agent Glen Davis. But "Big Baby" has said that he would like to be a starter someplace.
Chris Forsberg covers the Celtics for ESPNBoston.com.