Calm down. Rajon Rondo removing the cast on his right hand doesn’t have anything to do with his broken thumb, the one that’s putting his chances of returning during the Bulls’ first-round playoff series against the Celtics somewhere between slim and none.
Rondo removed the cast, which was being worn to protect an inflamed tendon in his hand, according to K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune, and just practiced with his broken thumb in a splint.
But he did practice. Considering the tailspin the Bulls have been in since Rondo’s injury, they might just be trying to get something out of their star point guard for Game 6.
Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg said twice this week Rondo won’t play in Game 5 (tip-off at 8:30 p.m. ET in Boston), Rondo practiced with the team Tuesday, dribbling and shooting with both hands.
“This is honestly the first time he has touched a basketball with that right hand, (so) we’ll see how it goes,” Hoiberg said, according to Johnson. “He’s going to continue to condition and do everything he can. He was in the weight room (Monday) getting a good session for the first time, so he’s really just getting this whole process started.”
Hoiberg noted he saw Rondo “wince a little” when getting the ball during practice. Rondo told reporters Wednesday he wasn’t playing Thursday, according to ESPN’s Nick Friedell.
Chicago lost both games in which Rondo didn’t play, and the Celtics put the clamps on the trio of guards who have replaced Rondo to this point, Isaiah Canaan (Wednesday’s expected starter), Jerian Grant and Michael Carter-Williams.