Chicago Bulls point guard Rajon Rondo suffered a fractured right thumb in Game 2 on Tuesday night against the Boston Celtics and will be out indefinitely, the team announced Friday.
The Bulls said Rondo underwent a subsequent exam and X-rays confirmed the thumb fracture. His injury will not require surgery.
Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg said Friday that Rondo will be re-evaluated in seven to 10 days and is wearing a cast. Rondo also has been dealing with a wrist injury that caused him to miss three games in the final week of the regular season.
Second-year point guard Jerian Grant will start in Rondo’s place for Game 3 on Friday night in Chicago.
The eight-seeded Bulls beat the Celtics 111-97 on Tuesday to take a 2-0 lead in their best-of-seven series against the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference. Rondo just missed with a triple-double, finishing with 11 points, 14 assists and nine rebounds, and added five steals.
Hoiberg said the injury occurred during the third quarter of Game 2 after Rondo was swiping for the ball and hit the elbow of Celtics 7-foot center Kelly Olynyk.
“Rondo’s obviously been unbelievable in the two wins that we had in Boston,” Hoiberg said. “So to get the news that we got last night was obviously very difficult. At the same time, the guys are going to get an opportunity to play more. It’s what you work for. It’s why you put so much extra time in the gym is for this opportunity … everybody’s going to have to be ready to pick up for what Rondo gives us.
“We can’t change the way we’re approaching things right now because one of our star players is out. We need to pick up for what he gives us and I’m confident our guys will do that.”
Rondo is averaging 11.5 points, 10 assists and 8.5 rebounds in the Bulls’ two victories over the Celtics.
“We’re going to miss him,” Bulls All-Star swingman Jimmy Butler said after Friday’s shootaround. “The pace that he sets for the team, the leadership that he brings, and the way that he plays. We’ve still got to go out there. We’re expected to win. We know what we’re capable of. I guess we’re doing this for him now.”