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Friday, February 7, 2014
Rajon Rondo, Avery Bradley out

By Chris Forsberg
ESPNBoston.com

BOSTON -- The Boston Celtics will be without their starting backcourt on Friday night as Rajon Rondo (general soreness) and Avery Bradley (sore right ankle) will sit out against the Sacramento Kings.

Rookie Phil Pressey and veteran Gerald Wallace will take their spots in the starting lineup.

Rondo told the team's training staff that he was experiencing soreness after Wednesday's win in Philadelphia. He was held out of practice Thursday and, with the team exercising great caution in the infancy of his return to game action, will take Friday's game off as well.

But Stevens stressed that there is no structural damage in Rondo's knee, just general soreness in his body from playing eight games over the past 20 days after missing nearly a full year of basketball.

"I think [Rondo's soreness] is just a cumulative effect of [game action]. But nothing structural, I expect him to play on Sunday," Stevens said. "So it's really just, 'Hey, we've got four more games before we get a full week of recuperation,' so he'll take today and probably won't play Monday at Milwaukee, then hopefully he plays the other two days [Sunday vs. Dallas and Wednesday vs. San Antonio]."

As for Bradley, Stevens tried to downplay any concern that this could be a lingering injury. Bradley missed five games last month after spraining his right ankle and tweaked it during Wednesday's win in Philadelphia.

"It's a twisted ankle on top of a sprain," Stevens said. "You hope that [it doesn't linger]. Any time you have a sprained ankle, there is concern of lingering, but he was full-go and ready to be full-go Sunday, and he probably could have played last Thursday or Friday [of last week]. It was more of an aggravated thing that happened during the game than it is necessarily something that was lingering."

In other injury news for the Celtics, an MRI on rookie Vitor Faverani's sore knee revealed no structural damage. He's listed as day-to-day.

As for Friday's opponent, the Kings will be without Rudy Gay (illness) and Marcus Thornton (bruised hip).