Barbosa’s season stunted by ACL tear
- Updated: February 13, 2013
They say bad things come in threes right? Let’s hope the Celtics are done with injuries for the season.
First, Rajon Rondo went down with a torn ACL; then, Jared Sullinger needed surgery on his back; now, Leandro Barbosa has not only a torn ACL, but a strained MCL as well, and will not play the rest of the season.
Barbosa has been a ray of light in a somewhat dull season for the Celtics, especially in his expanded role following Rondo’s and Sullinger’s injuries. Barbosa’s injury is slightly different than Rondo’s, in that he’ll have to wait at least a month for the MCL strain to heal before having the surgery to repair the torn MCL.
Sadly for the Celtics and their fans, Barbosa may have played his last game with the team. When he was signed during the off-season, the deal was for a one-year contract, and he will become a free agent this summer.
“We loved Leandro,” Team President Danny Ainge said. “Even with how close we were to the luxury-tax apron, we felt like Leandro would help our team and that his time would come with us here. It’s a tough loss.”
Barbosa played in 41 games this season, averaging 5.2 points and 1.4 assists, while shooting 43 percent from the field and 38.3 percent from the 3-point line.
Ainge said on Wednesday that the Celtics are planning to sign at least one or two players by the end of this month, even if it’s just a 10-day contract before the All-Star break.
The Celtics have options in the NBA D-League team the Maine Red Claws, who they’ve already borrowed and returned Fab Melo from multiple times this year. Shelvin Mack, who was drafted by the Wizards in 2011, has been playing for Maine, and could be borrowed by Boston to see if he fits into their scheme. The Celtics also have the option of releasing Barbosa to free up a roster spot, and could go the free agent route when trying to fill in the gaps.
Even despite the injuries afflicting the team, the Celtics went on to win seven games in a row following Rondo’s injury, only to be broken up by the last-place Charlotte Bobcats on Monday night, after Sunday night’s triple overtime game. Following the news of Barbosa’s injury, the Celtics played an ugly game against the Chicago Bulls on Wednesday, but managed to start a new winning streak of one game.