Rajon Rondo is expected to play for the Boston Celtics tonight in Game 4 of their playoff series against the Miami Heat...in spite of the cringe-inducing elbow dislocation he suffered Saturday.
Rondo returned to play with basically one arm in the fourth quarter of Boston’s 97-81 Game 3 victory, so perhaps that isn’t much of a surprise. “If you see me Monday, don’t ask me how I feel,’’ Rondo said Saturday. “I’m gonna play.’’ An MRI on Sunday showed no bone fractures and Celtics Coach Doc Rivers said he is a go for tonight — unless he is ineffective.
“If he can’t help our team, [he won’t play],” Rivers said Sunday before getting the MRI results. “And if he can play, how well can he play and will he help or hurt our team? No. 1, we’re not going to hurt the player and we’re not going to do anything to hurt the team. It may not be until game time and the game until we find that out.’’
Rondo’s injury goes into the pantheon of gruesome sports injuries (Joe Theismann’s leg meets Lawrence Taylor; Dave Dravecky’s snapping arm; Ray Allen’s eye; Napoleon McCallum’s leg twist; Clint Malarchuk’s slashed throat...) and epic displays of heart (see: Reed, Willis in Game 7 of the 1970 NBA Finals. (It might not have been Curt Schilling with the bloody sock, Dan Shaughnessy writes, “but it was every bit as good as Larry Bird coming back after a face plant on the parquet, or Paul Pierce vaulting out of a wheelchair in the first game of the Finals.”)
“I still haven't seen it,” Rivers said of the injury. “I've heard that I don't want to see it. I've never seen the [Joe] Theismann injury, and I don't plan on seeing this one. I've heard that it was not the prettiest thing. Probably it helped me, honestly, that I didn't see it. Because if I had, from what I hear, it would have been tough for me to put him back in the game.”