Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge said in a radio interview Thursday afternoon that point guard Rajon Rondo would miss "a couple of weeks" with his most recent injury, a sprained ankle suffered in New York on Wednesday night.
Later Thursday, coach Doc Rivers corroborated that statement, saying that he wasn't sure of the specifics but that Rondo would miss "one to two weeks, or whatever."
Once again, the C's will turn to Nate Robinson as their starting point guard, and this time, they won't have Delonte West around to back him up. With Rondo and West both missing significant time, the team is really starting to feel the effects of the injury bug.
"If just Rondo were out and no one else, we would be fine," Rivers said. "If just one of the other four injured guys were out, we'd be fine then, too. It's the accumulation of guys that really gets us."
The Celtics will have to lean on Robinson more than ever before. In 24 games this season, the young guard has eclipsed 30 minutes only three times, all of them games he started with Rondo out of the lineup.
But it's not just Rondo now. West is out of action with his broken wrist, and while Avery Bradley is now healthy, Rivers has been hesitant to lean on him too much while the rookie learns the system.
Robinson's the one guy Rivers can trust. Thirty minutes every night will be a given — 35 and even 40 will soon be considered just another day at the office. The Celtics may have signed Robinson this summer to be a spot starter, a quick fill-in for Rondo in short bursts, but now he'll have to be much more.
The Celtics are approaching this predicament with the big picture in mind. In the short term, the Celtics are in trouble — they're significantly weakened on both ends of the floor, and it won't be easy to find quality minutes in the depths of their bench. But the C's are thinking long term.
The ultimate goal is to be healthy in May, not in December. The Celtics are staying cautious for now so they won't be sorry later.