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Rajon Rondo expects to be out 2 weeks; says he didn't try to trip Celtic

CHICAGO -- Bulls point guard Rajon Rondosays he believes he'll be out at least a "couple weeks" as he recovers from a right thumb fracture suffered in Game 2.

"It couldn't have come at a worse time," Rondo said after the Bulls' Game 3 loss to the Boston Celtics on Friday night. "But things happen for a reason. It is what it is. I'm not sure how long I'll be out. I plan on my body healing pretty quickly. The doctors told me a couple weeks, but we'll see how it goes."

Rondo made his presence in Game 3 known even on the bench, setting social media abuzz after a replay showed him sticking out his leg while Celtics forward Jae Crowder retreated following a made 3-pointer.

Rondo said after the game that he was not trying to trip the Celtics player.

"When you tear an ACL, your legs get stiff on you every once in a while," Rondo said. "I stretched my leg out. I also do that throughout the game. I guess he was so deep into our bench, it looked maybe whatever may have happened."

As far as his injury, Rondo says he is wearing a cast on his right wrist, in part to also stabilize a wrist injury he suffered in the last week of the regular season that caused him to miss three games. He said the thumb injury occurred in the second half of Game 2 when his hand got caught going for a ball with Celtics big man Al Horford.

"I think it was an inbound pass over to Horford," Rondo said. "And I swiped up to make a play on the ball, and I knew right then and there there was something wrong with my thumb. I continued to play, obviously the adrenaline is crazy, but I continued to play, and I didn't think nothing of it. It was painful, but it's the playoffs."

Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg had indicated earlier Friday that the injury occurred when Rondo was swiping for the ball and hit the elbow of Celtics big man Kelly Olynyk.

Rondo said he made the decision to get X-rays on Thursday after not taking any contact in practice.

"I knew something was wrong," Rondo said. "My finger was blue."

After a combined 50 assists in Games 1 and 2, the Bulls managed just 14 without Rondo in Game 3. The offense was not moving the same way up and down the floor, and Rondo noted that he would try to watch film of Game 3 to see how he could help his teammates. Those teammates understood just how big of a blow it was not to have Rondo out there with them.

"Obviously, we all talk about pace," Bulls guard Dwyane Wade said of playing without Rondo. "But obviously his ability to rebound the ball, give us extra possessions on the offensive end, defensive end, rebound the ball. But just having another coach on the floor. You got a guy who has been in so many playoff series, been in the Finals, won championships -- you can't replace that.

"And our young guys will come in next game and be better. But we can't look to replace what Rondo brings. His experience is unmatched from that standpoint. But just like every injury, every blow, it hurts the team in the moment, but we have to move past it. And we have to figure out a way with our young point guards and other guys on this roster to just be better next game."

Rondo was noncommittal when he was asked about the possibility of returning at some point in this series. He is expected to get his cast off in a week to 10 days, and then he and the Bulls' medical staff will make a decision.

"It depends on what I can tolerate," he said. "I'll check it every two days, see if I can pick up a ball. But right now I can't even use a fork with my thumb, so it's going to take a couple days at a time and see how I feel, and hopefully things get better."

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