There has been rampant speculation, from fans to bloggers to beat guys, about what is going on with Rajon Rondo recently. His play on the court has been erratic, and we haven't been seeing the player we've grown to expect on the court from his brilliant play previously this season, and in seasons prior.
Well tonight we got some confirmation, but I know I for one wasn't expecting this to be the injury. Per A. Sherrod Blakely from CSN-NE:
Boston Celtics guard Rajon Rondo has not been himself recently, and now we know why.
The Celtics' all-star point guard has been battling a right pinkie injury, one that Rondo said has been bothering him for the past couple of weeks.
A pinkie injury might not sound serious (at least it doesn't to me..but then I'm not a professional basketball player and point guard who needs his golden hands as much as he needs his legs or arms to function at a high level), but it was serious enough tonight. Rondo left the court in the third quarter, and it sounds like his injury went from bad to worse. (still from Blakley)
"My finger, my hand went numb," Rondo said. "I was a little concerned about it, going back in."
Rondo eventually returned to the floor, with the finger taped up - something he said he has been doing for the past couple of weeks.
As for his injury, it's not expected to keep him out of action.
But it does give Celtics head coach Doc Rivers another reason to continue pursuing ways to cut his minutes down.
During Boston's up and down play of late, a reduction in Rondo's minutes has indeed occurred.
The story continues though and ends on a high note. They mention Rondo's shooting performance tonight and how despite the injury he still managed to go 4-9 from the field, and how Doc thinks this might be a growing opportunity as much as anything else for Rondo.
Rivers has marveled at times at how Rondo has grown both as a player and a person, one who is on the road to recovery from his first major slump since emerging as one of the league's top point guards.
"This has been good for him," Rivers said. "You go through stages in your career, you go through struggles. This was really good for him."
I guess what we can take from this is a little bit of new information (that Rondo is injured, but working through it), but also a reinforcement of things we already knew; Rajon Rondo is a tough player that isn't scared to play through an injury, and is a guy who is up to the challenge to power through tough times.
While I personally expected it to come to light that Rondo was injured at some point, I did not expect it to be his pinky. On the whole, since the words 'knee', 'ankle', 'Perkins', or 'trade' weren't mentioned, I'm going to take this as a good sign, despite Rondo aggravating an existing problem. It was about time for Rondo to begin to turn a corner, and I fully expect that trend to continue.