Celtics star Rajon Rondo tore the ACL in his right knee and will be lost for the season.
It is possible that Rondo could return for the start of the 2013-’14 season, but a timetable for his return won’t be clear until after his surgery.
Rondo injured the knee in Friday’s double-overtime loss to the Atlanta Hawks, where he had delivered his second consecutive triple-double. He was scratched from the Celtics-Heat game on Sunday with what the team termed a “hyperextended right knee.” MRI results Sunday afternoon confirmed the Celtics’ worst fears.
Even with Rondo in the lineup, the Celtics had lost six consecutive games and dropped to 20-23 and into the eight spot in the Eastern Conference playoff race.
Boston could miss the playoffs for the first time since the 2006-’07 season, prior to the arrival of Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen in what turned out to be a championship season in 07-’08.
Rondo was voted to the Eastern Conference’s All-Star starting team, but commissioner David Stern will now choose a replacement for him.