"Nothing's changed as of now," Bulls head coach Fred Hoiberg said during a conference call on Thursday afternoon. "We had a film session in the hotel this morning. Obviously we didn't do anything on the court before we left. Rajon, most likely, will come in and work out tonight, but like we talked about [Wednesday] at the game it's still a long shot that he's back on the court, at least in this series."
Rondo suffered the thumb fracture during Game 2 and revealed before Game 5 that the reason he was placed in a cast was because of the fact he has been dealing with the previously undisclosed ligament tear.
Rondo was initially expected to miss "a couple weeks," but speculation surrounding his return heightened after he showed up at Monday's practice without the cast on. Rondo said Wednesday that an x-ray taken on his thumb earlier still week showed that the fracture had not fully healed.
In other injury related news, Hoiberg noted that Butler has been dealing with knee soreness of his own. Butler, who missed both of his shot attempts in the fourth quarter of Wednesday night's loss, downplayed the significance of any knee trouble, but he did so while his left knee was attached to a stim machine near his locker.
"He's got some soreness, there's no denying that," Hoiberg said. "Jimmy's a warrior, he's fighting through it. He's going to continue to do so, he's going to get treatment around the clock. He's done a great job of being diligent with his treatments. Jimmy did have the ball in his hands some in that fourth quarter. We did run a couple actions for him as well as using him as a facilitator. But obviously the ball was in Dwyane's hands a lot as well. He'll get treatment tonight a couple times, he'll get it again tomorrow, before and after shootaround, before the game. And hopefully we'll be good to go once 7 o'clock rolls around."
The Bulls, down 3-2 to the Celtics heading into Friday's Game 6, have not won a game since Rondo's thumb injury. Hoiberg said backup point guard Isaiah Canaan would start again in Game 6. Canaan, who rarely played during the second half of the regular season, scored 13 points in 36 minutes in Game 5.
"Obviously the dynamic of our team has changed with Rajon out," Hoiberg said. "We played quite a few stretches last night, really the majority of the game without a true point guard on the floor. But that's just the reality of the situation we're in right now. And it's probably going to be that way for the rest of the series. We're still confident at 3-2. Three series are in the same situation. Teams going home and hopefully holding serve and forcing this to a Game 7 where anything can happen. So we just got to go out there and continue to fight, continue to try and find things that made us successful. I thought we were really good, especially offensively, for the majority of the first three quarters. We got to find a way to continue to do the things that gave us some success. We have to have pace, every thought Rajon's not out there. We still have to continue to try get down the floor with pace and get into our action with plenty of time on the shot clock … it is what it is and we're going to continue to fight."