VIDEO: Rondo ramping up workouts
Rajon Rondo has been cleared to return to full practices, coach Brad Stevens said Saturday, an important step in Rondo’s return to the Celtics from a torn ligament in his right knee suffered Jan. 25.
Stevens cautioned it is also a preliminary step to the All-Star point guard getting in a game, saying Rondo will not play in December and realistically may not be in uniform until past the one-year anniversary of the injury. It is, however, a major sign of progress in the rehabilitation and comes as additional good news with Boston going from many preseason predictions of finishing near the bottom of the Eastern Conference to being in the very early mix for home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs.
”He won’t play in games, is what I’ve been told, until after the first of the year,” Stevens said, according to the Boston Globe. “And that still is, we’re talking in big generalities there. I don’t know when that means. It could mean a month from now, it could mean six weeks from now. There’s a lot of different variables that have to be met for him to be cleared for games.”
Rondo had been participating in parts of practices, but was banned from contact drills and scrimmaging. That changed Friday, Stevens said, when Rondo and a Celtics physician visited Dr. James Andrews, the renowned surgeon, and Andrews cleared the way for the return.
Rondo is the only tested true point guard on the roster, with rookie Phil Pressey the only other Celtic with any experience. Boston tried Avery Bradley there with poor results and switched to Jordan Crawford. Crawford is better suited for shooting guard, but has performed so well that he was named Eastern Conference Player of the Week for games ending Dec. 8 after averaging 23.3 points and 6.7 assists while shooting 61 percent and playing alongside Bradley.
While 9-7 against the East, Boston isn’t only taking advantage of the soft conference – winning four of the last six has included beating the Nuggets and Clippers, both at home.
“I haven’t thought a ton about it because it really hasn’t presented itself, and it still isn’t going to present itself anytime in the very, very near future,” Stevens was quoted by Celtics.com regarding eventually working Rondo into the rotation. “So my focus is on what we can do on Monday (against Minnesota).
“But certainly, you’re thinking about how you’re going to not only get him into it, ease him into it, but also how you’re going to manage everything around that, because there’s a lot of good players that are playing at a high level. The key is to continue those guys playing well and add in another very good player.”