Rapid reaction: Rondo's broken hand

Reaction after Boston Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo underwent surgery on his left hand Friday and the team announced he will miss 6-8 weeks:

A head-shaking setback: While attempting to downplay the persistent buzz about Rondo's uncertain future in Boston, Celtics officials have maintained that Rondo has looked great this offseason and the oft-repeated line is that he is poised for the best season of his career. After missing 95 games over the past two seasons, most of them because of an ACL tear, there was hope that a healthy Rondo could go a long way toward helping Boston take the next step in its rebuilding process after winning only 25 games last season. Rondo will now be off the court for another training camp and will miss the start of the regular season.

Smart in focus: If Rondo misses eight weeks, he'll sit out as much as the first full month of the season and the team's first 14 games of the year. If the Celtics don't make any moves, they'll lean heavily on rookie Marcus Smart and second-year guard Phil Pressey to handle the bulk of the ball-handling duties. With Boston still in rebuilding mode, it would seem likely that Smart will get tossed into the fire -- particularly with increased point guard reps in training camp -- and get a chance to accelerate his own development with hefty minutes to start his NBA career. The Celtics must also be happy to have kept Pressey around (his contract was nonguaranteed at the start of the summer and the team elected to carry him despite an overcrowded roster) as he started 11 games last season when Rondo needed to rest his knee and also appeared in 75 games overall. Pressey can help eat up minutes at the point guard spot.

More fuel for the fire: Rondo is a lightning rod in Boston and this will do nothing to diminish it. Sources told ESPN.com's Jeff Goodman that Rondo informed the team he suffered the hand injury during a slip in the shower Thursday evening. Fair or not, skeptics will question that story and the exact cause of the injury. Rondo's future is the biggest storyline around the Celtics this season and this will only thrust him further into the spotlight if Boston trudges through another season with more downs than ups.

Silver lining? About the only positive takeaway that a Celtics fan will find: If the Celtics are set to endure another loss-heavy campaign, not having Rondo at the start of the season will only help their potential lottery placement. Smart should also benefit from the increased reps and that will help the future as well. Regardless, it's a tough setback for a team that was eager to have a healthy Rondo on the court.