The trainers and coaching staff were concerned enough with Rajon Rondo's feet that he almost didn't play. Yet Rondo said that he was fine and ended up playing 41 minutes.
Emerging from the trainer's room more than an hour after Boston completed its 110-105 overtime triumph over the Chicago Bulls Friday at the TD Garden, Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo downplayed the severity of his "sore" feet, stressing he's fine after coach Doc Rivers suggested he had a "mild" case of plantar fasciitis that nearly prevented Rondo from suiting up.
"It's fine," said Rondo, who only shrugged when asked to confirm the diagnosis of plantar fasciitis. "It's cool. It's sore, that's all."
I don't have to tell you how important his feet are to the future of this franchise. And perhaps the thing that is concerning is the fact that this has cropped up in the past as well. Back in the playoffs in 2009 Rondo was carried off the court by Bill Walker.
"I was limping and Billy didn't want to see me limp, so he just carried me," Rondo said. "I didn't slip or nothing. I'm fine. Ankles are fine." Rondo, who had 20 points, 11 rebounds, 6 assists, and 5 steals, removed his shoes late in the game. "Maybe the tape was too tight," Rondo said. "It's just the tape job."
Two very encouraging points to bring up here are this. First of all, he's downplayed the issue each time. Secondly, he's played quite well despite the pain. So either the issue isn't as bad as we might fear or he's one tough cookie. The truth is probably a little bit of both, but I'll take either one.
So what is plantar fasciitis? Celtics Town has a great post on this subject. Here's a bit of it.
Besides medicinal treatment, plantar fasciitis patients can often benefit from other methods. Stretching programs have often worked, and even small changes like a shoe change or a taped foot can help. Many basketball players are also fitted with orthotic shoe inserts. Rest can also be utilized for the foot, and night splints can be helpful. If none of the preceding treatment works, surgery is normally the last option. According to the Mayo Clinic, “about 90 percent of the people who have plantar fasciitis recover with conservative treatments in just a few months.”
Jay points out that this same issue contributed to Tony Parker's poor season last year. So far Rondo has been better than ever, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't keep one eye on his feet.
My last (mother hen) point I'd like to make is this: Even when Rondo has suffered ankle sprains, he's worn low-top sneakers. Also, a sneaker blog pointed out that Rondo likes to wear his shoes "weirdly."
Rajon Rondo is free to wear his shoes however he wants until Nike tells him otherwise. Which is, weirdly and not how most anyone else would choose to wear them. He's been getting all baseball cleat flappy on us, choosing to lace through his Hyperfuses two eyelets too low and flaring the tongue out. Definitely a "unique" look, if that's what he's going for.
Hopefully he's getting the right kind of tape jobs that make concerns about this sort of thing pretty much unfounded. Hopefully.