Rajon Rondo sat out three consecutive games late in November after straining his left hamstring, and, after returning for three games, sat out of Sunday's win over the New Jersey Nets, due to continued soreness in that same hamstring.
"I just leave it up to Eddie," said Rivers. "[An extended break] may come at some point. I don't think it's a bad suggestion. It's been suggested already, I can tell you that. Eddie knows when it's close enough to play."
Rondo played 30 minutes last night, but was seen on the sideline in the third quarter using a device that's typically used to help loosen up the calf muscle. Whether he was trying to loosen up the hamstring or his calf (he appeared to be stretching out his right leg, actually), or something else, remains to be seen. Rondo finished out the third quarter, and the C's did not require his services in the fourth frame.
I was actually surprised that Rondo played last night, only because of Doc's talk about an extended break for Rondo possibly being needed. I guess I just don't see how you go from possibly needing an extended break to suddenly being ready to play the very next day. Obviously Rondo and Eddie Lacerte are much more qualified to assess Rondo's health than I am, but it seemed pretty evident that he was less than 100 percent last night, despite handing out his customary 13 assists.
I've been of the opinion that Rondo would benefit from extended stretches of rest ever since he first suffered the hamstring injury. I was surprised when he returned to the lineup to take on the Raptors at home on November 26 (having missed the previous three games), seeing as holding him out of that game would have guaranteed him four extra days of rest before the Celtics' next game the following Tuesday against the Cavaliers. In fact, I argued that the Celtics should have sat him against the Raptors that night earlier in that week.
Once again, given how this hamstring injury has started to linger, I wouldn't mind the C's shutting Rondo down for a few more games, to hopefully solve this issue for good. Not only could his hamstring probably use the time, but we can't neglect the plantar fasciitis (also lingering) he's dealing with right now as well. Rest is perhaps the most important treatment for both of these maladies.
The schedule should allow for it these next few weeks, as the Celtics will face the 76ers twice, the Bobcats, the Knicks, the Hawks, and the Pacers before heading down to Orlando for a Christmas day showdown with the Magic. January should be a much more challenging month (despite a six-game home stand), as Boston will be hit with a slew of more difficult opponents (the Spurs, Bulls, Magic, Jazz, Lakers, etc.), so if the C's are looking for the best time to rest Rondo, now might just be it.