Bulls still not sure when Rondo will return

                                                                                                                                                                                                   
  • Chicago Bulls' Rajon Rondo looks to pass as he is falling down while being defended by Milwaukee Bucks' Thon Maker during the a game March 26 in Milwaukee. Rondo missed his third straight game with a right wrist injury. Head coach Fred Hoiberg said the injury is improving, but the team isn't sure when Rondo will return.

    Chicago Bulls' Rajon Rondo looks to pass as he is falling down while being defended by Milwaukee Bucks' Thon Maker during the a game March 26 in Milwaukee. Rondo missed his third straight game with a right wrist injury. Head coach Fred Hoiberg said the injury is improving, but the team isn't sure when Rondo will return. Associated Press

 
 
Updated 4/10/2017 9:20 PM

With two days left in the regular season, Rajon Rondo's return from a right wrist sprain remains in question. Rondo missed his third straight game on Monday.

Before the game, coach Fred Hoiberg said Rondo visited a hand specialist and it was called a significant injury. What Hoiberg meant was the Bulls aren't certain if Rondo will be ready by Wednesday's regular-season finale or even Game 1 of the playoffs if the Bulls qualify.

 

"Too early to say right now," Hoiberg said. "He has made improvements since he hurt the wrist in the New York game. It's going to be a matter of how he feels moving forward. Hopefully he'll be able to do a little more tomorrow, and we'll see how he is for Wednesday."

One positive is Jerian Grant responded to the challenge when tossed back into the starting lineup. Grant scored 15 points in the last two games and got off to a good start Monday against Orlando.

"If there's any way for Rajon to be out there, he would," Hoiberg said. "He wants to be out there as bad as anybody, especially the way he was playing. He's as responsible as anybody for the (recent) success that we've had. He was excellent at getting us into an offense and getting the ball down the floor with pace. We're sharing the ball, that all started with him. So hopefully guys will continue to step up in his absence."

Hoiberg understands rest:

Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg didn't complain about Cleveland resting LeBron James and Kyrie Irving on Monday at Miami, which is battling the Bulls for the final playoff spot in the East.

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"A lot of it is the time of year, especially when you look at Cleveland (Sunday) night," Hoiberg said. "LeBron played almost 48 minutes. Kyrie and Kevin Love were both in the 40s, if I'm not mistaken."

The Cavaliers lost in overtime at Atlanta on Sunday after squandering a 26-point lead heading into the fourth quarter. James played 47 minutes and Irving 45. This happened two night after Cleveland somehow lost at home on a night the Hawks rested Dennis Schroder, Dwight Howard, Paul Millsap and Kent Bazemore.

"Those guys (Cavs) are getting ready for the playoff push. A lot of teams at this time of year do that, especially teams that have established position," Hoiberg said. "It is what it is. I think a lot of those talks (about resting stars) will happen over the summer, try to answer some of the concerns teams have had this year."

Bulls horns:

Former Bulls center and head coach Bill Cartwright sat in the front row at Monday's game. … If the Bulls make the playoffs, they'll face either Cleveland or Boston in the first round. At the start of Monday's action, those teams were tied for the top spot in the East and the Cavs hold the tiebreaker.

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