The Celtics showed up to their facility in Waltham for a brief practice on Sunday afternoon, but they were missing two very notable contributors — Rajon Rondo, who was receiving treatment for a freak elbow injury suffered Saturday night, and Delonte West, who needed attention after a stinger in his left shoulder.
Then there's also the small matter of Shaquille O'Neal, who's only one game into his comeback from a calf injury and still feeling sore. The C's have Game 4 coming up in less than 36 hours, and plenty of questions still to answer.
"We're going to do MRIs on Rondo and Delonte," coach Doc Rivers said Sunday. "We haven't gotten anything back yet. Right now we're going to go with, 'They're all playing.' Shaq as well. But I have nothing on the injuries yet."
Rondo left Game 3 on Saturday night with what appeared to be a dislocated left elbow. He went to the locker room with seven minutes left in the third quarter and then shockingly returned to play the fourth.
He got through Saturday on pure adrenaline. The day after is tougher.
"It just hurts," Rivers said of Rondo's elbow. "Obviously it was far more painful today in some ways. A lot of swelling. That was to be expected."
While Rivers maintains that he doesn't want to watch the gruesome fall leading to Rondo's injury, he did stick up for Heat guard Dwyane Wade, whose foul led to the injury. Amid accusations Saturday night that Wade had made a dirty play, Rivers disagreed.
"It was a hard foul," the coach said. "He didn't intend to hurt Rondo. I honestly believe that in 99 percent of the cases in our league, a player never intends to hurt anybody. But he did, and it just happens sometimes."
While the Celtics await the results of the MRIs on Rondo and West on Sunday afternoon, they're left in limbo while devising a game plan for Monday night's Game 4 at the TD Garden. They hope to have both players available, but they don't yet know whether throwing them out there is the best idea.
"It's not if he can't play and help our team," Rivers said. "We'll have to dictate it based on two things — can he play at all, and if so how well can he play, and does it help or hurt our team. We're not going to do anything to hurt the player, and we're not going to do anything to hurt the team. It may not be until game time that we find that out."