Negative test for Rondo, positive news for C's

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Negative test for Rondo, positive news for C's

By A. Sherrod Blakely
CSNNE.com

WALTHAM The Boston Celtics got a bit of good news on the injury front Sunday when the MRI results for Rajon Rondo came back negative.

Rondo suffered a dislocated left elbow in the third quarter, but somehow managed to return to the floor at the start of the fourth to help propel the Celtics to a 97-81 Game 3 victory.

When coach Doc Rivers was asked about Rondo's elbow, he said: "It hurts. And obviously it was far more painful today in some ways; a lot of swelling. That was expected."

Even with the MRI results coming back negative, that doesn't necessarily mean you'll see him play his usual minutes, or even at all.

"If he can play, how well can he play, and can he help our team?" Rivers said when asked what criteria will be used to determine if Rondo will participate in Game 4 Monday night. "We're not going to do anything, number one, to hurt the player. And we're not going to do anything to hurt the team. It may not be until game time, it may not be until in the game, that we find out (if he can play). Either one of those would be awful, but right now that may be the case."

The Celtics also have some concern about Rondo's backup Delonte West, who suffered a left shoulder injury in the first half of Boston's Game 3 victory, which cut the Heat's lead in the best-of-seven series, to 2-1.

West finished with 11 points off the Celtics bench - tops among C's reserves.

While West still has some soreness, it does not appear to be severe enough to limit him from at least playing in Game 4 on Monday.

"Delonte's injury, I think it'll come down to what he can tolerate," Rivers said.

Rivers said Shaquille O'Neal, who returned to the lineup for the first time since April 3, had some swelling as well.

"I think he's going to have that for the rest of his years," Rivers said.

Throughout the regular season, the Celtics have been dealing with an assortment of injuries.

So to have a number of key players banged up during the playoffs, that's just par for the course, for this Celtics team.

"If they're on the floor, we're healthy," Rivers said. "That's been my motto since I've been here, and our guys believe that. If you're in uniform, you're healthy. We'll make no excuses Monday . . . it's a playoff game. It's Game 4. We have to win. That's all we need to think about."

A. Sherrod Blakely can be reached at sblakely@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Sherrod on Twitter at http:twitter.comsherrodbcsn.

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Bradley still hurting, will miss Celtics game vs. Trail Blazers

Bradley still hurting, will miss Celtics game vs. Trail Blazers

WALTHAM, Mass. – The right Achilles’ strain that has kept Avery Bradley out of five of the Celtics’ past six games, will continue to keep the 6-foot-2 guard sidelined.
 
Celtics coach Brad Stevens said Bradley will not play Saturday against the Portland Trail Blazers.
 
Stevens added that no additional tests have been taken and the Achilles’ itself is structurally fine.
 
“He’s got a lot of soreness around it, and that’s one of those things you have to be ultra-careful with,” said Stevens, who later added that Bradley would not practice with the team today. “When he [Bradley] came back, he said he felt a lot better, and then he played and the next day he practiced. We didn’t do anything live but he did a lot of cutting and did not feel near as good. That’s why he didn’t play Wednesday.”
 
The absence of Bradley was clearly felt in a 117-106 loss to the New York Knicks on Wednesday, a game in which Knicks guard Derrick Rose – the man Bradley would have likely spent defending most of the game – scored 30 points.
 
This season, all-NBA first team defender is  the Celtics’ No. 2 scorer at 17 points per game along with averaging a team-best 6.9 rebounds.
 
In addition, Bradley is shooting a career-best 40.9 percent from 3-point range, as well as dishing out 2.4 assists per game, which also represents a career-high for the 26-year-old.