There will be no dramatic return for Chicago Bulls point guard Rajon Rondo – at least not yet.
CSN Chicago reported Rondo, sidelined with a broken right thumb, had ruled out returning for Game 5 of the playoff series between the Chicago Bulls and Boston Celtics on Wednesday night in Boston.
The point guard had attempted to make an early return to the series, which is tied 2-2.
Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg said Rondo’s thumb was still broken and had significant swelling, CSNNE’s A. Sherrod Blakely reported.
Rondo’s absence will complicate Chicago’s attempt to recover from two straight losses at home.
The ex-Celtics guard suffered the injury in Game 2. He was expected to be in a hard cast for at least a week.
Chams Charania of Yahoo Sports tweeted Tuesday that Rondo was “preparing to attempt” to play, but a decision had not been made.
Rondo worked out Tuesday in Boston to gauge whether he was healthy enough to play, ESPN reported.
In Game 1, Rondo scored 12 points with six assists and eight rebounds. The following game, he fell just short of a triple-double, scoring 11 points with 14 assists and nine rebounds.
Tensions are running high ahead of the pivotal game.
The latest dustup came after Boston won its second straight game in Chicago to even that series at 2-2, with Bulls guard Jimmy Butler essentially accusing Marcus Smart, the rugged Celtics guard, of being a fake tough guy.
“We’re not going to sit here and get in each other’s faces,” Butler said after the game. “He’s not about that life.”
Smart tried to keep the focus on the game when asked about Butler’s comments on Tuesday, but it was clear that he took exception to the characterization even if he didn’t want to get into a war of words with the Bulls star.
“I can show you better than I can tell you. . Last time I checked if you gonna say somebody ain’t about that life you should know, right?” Smart said. “We’re gonna keep this Chicago Bulls vs. Boston Celtics. Not Marcus vs. Jimmy.”