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“With no other structural damage, Rondo had pledged to his teammates that he'd try to top even Peterson's speedy recovery and be back performing basketball activities in six months. Ainge said the team would encourage the All-Star guard to use all available time and ensure a full recovery. Teammate Leandro Barbosa, who tore his left ACL during Monday's loss in Charlotte, also sprained his MCL and will wait a month before he goes in for surgery, according to Ainge. Once the swelling from the sprain heals, initial tests suggest there is no other structural damage beyond the ACL, which would put Barbosa on a similar recovery timeline as Rondo. Ainge said the Celtics would like to bring back Barbosa for next season. Boston signed the speedy guard late in the offseason to a one-year, veteran-minimum deal. "We loved Leandro," Ainge said. "Even with how close we were to the luxury-tax apron, we felt like Leandro would help our team and that his time would come with us here. It's a tough loss." Ainge has pledged to fill out the Celtics' roster by month's end. The team will not move immediately to sign another body, but will consider offering a 10-day contract before embarking on a five-game West Coast trip after the All-Star break. The Celtics are hard-capped after using the full value of the midlevel exception to sign Jason Terry in the offseason, which limits their financial flexibility. With the goal of adding rotation-caliber talent this month, the team has to proceed carefully so as not to tie up available money or roster space. Boston would like to add two minimum salaries to its roster and is exploring all options, from available bodies in the D-League and overseas, to what trades are plausible for an injury-depleted squad. Ainge admitted Wednesday that the free-agent route is his most likely avenue since Boston doesn't have enough depth to stand losing a player on its roster. He also said the team values its younger assets too much to move them at the Feb. 21 deadline. In the interim, with only three healthy guards on the roster for Wednesday night's visit from the Bulls, Ainge said he expects coach Doc Rivers to get creative with lineups, including those that feature Paul Pierce at shooting guard and Jeff Green at small forward. Seven of Boston's 10 available players are 6-foot-7 or taller, leaving the team short-handed at the guard rotation. Starters Avery Bradley and Courtney Lee are likely to see a bump in minutes, but Ainge said the team wants to keep Pierce's minute total manageable.
You know how competitive [Rajon] Rondo is -- the whole Adrian Peterson thing was a big motivating factor. ... Rondo is so competitive with those type of things and that's his mindset.” -- Celtics GM Danny Ainge