Rajon Rondo returns for Celtics

Updated: February 3, 2012, 8:37 PM ET
By Chris Forsberg | ESPNBoston.com

BOSTON -- Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo is back in the starting lineup versus the New York Knicks on Friday after an eight-game absence due to a right wrist injury.

"He's healthy," Celtics coach Doc Rivers said. "Now it's timing and stuff like that. He's gotta get his timing back with the guys, as far as he's our quarterback. So we'll just see how he goes."

As for Rondo's playing time, Rivers said he'll allow his eyes to be the judge of that.

"I don't know, I'll go by how he's playing, really," said Rivers. "He hasn't had a lot of practice -- like zero. So we'll just go and your eyes will tell you. And hopefully we'll make the right choice."

Rondo went through shootaround Friday morning and the team extended its session, hoping the extra reps would bring him back up to speed, but Rivers admitted you can't simulate game conditions.

"It's a shootaround -- it's just different when you haven't played competitive [games]," said Rivers. "He's had a couple 1-on-1 stuff, 2-on-2's, but that's not basketball. So we went a little longer with him on the floor, with both groups -- the starters and some of the guys that haven't played a lot of minutes -- just so he could try to get his rhythm, but it's still not the same."

Rivers said the biggest thing working against the team without Rondo was Boston's late-game execution (and propensity for going stagnant on offense). The team used part of its shootaround to go over end-of-the-game execution in an attempt to tighten that up with Rondo back in the lineup.

Elsewhere on the injury front, Keyon Dooling (right hip pointer) remains out, but didn't want to talk about a timetable for his return. Marquis Daniels (right foot) suffered a right foot injury over the past couple days -- Rivers wasn't sure if it was during the end of Wednesday's lopsided win over Toronto, or during an off-day workout -- but he will not be available.

Said Rivers: "[Daniels is] out. Not long, just something with his foot."

Chris Forsberg covers the Celtics for ESPNBoston.com.

Chris Forsberg

Celtics reporter, ESPNBoston.com