Perkins plans on being there for Rondo during rehab

Perkins plans on being there for Rondo during rehab
March 10, 2013, 4:30 pm
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OKLAHOMA CITY — Rarely a day passes by where Kendrick Perkins doesn't check in on his good buddy and former Celtics teammate Rajon Rondo, either with a phone call or text messages.

Few know better than Perkins the road that lies ahead for Rondo, who is out for the season with a torn right ACL injury - the same injury that Perkins' suffered during the 2010 NBA Finals.

"My biggest thing with him," Perkins told, "I'm not worried about whether he'll put the work in to get back on the court. I just don't want him to have a mental breakdown."

As Perkins recalls, overcoming the mental hurdles of such a devastating injury is far tougher than the physical regimen needed to recover. He remembers a number of days during his rehabilitation process where he felt like giving in to self-doubt.

"It gets to that point, if you don't have somebody in your ear, to encourage you. That's real talk," Perkins said.

Support from teammates isn't all that unusual in dealing with such injuries.  But Perkins said he found himself leaning on former teammate Al Jefferson who like Perkins and Rondo, also had a torn ACL injury. But Jefferson's assistance to Perkins went beyond just picking up the phone or sending a direct message via social media.

"He came to visit for like a week in Boston," Perkins recalled. "It helped tremendously, to have somebody go through that with you."

And when the Thunder's season ends, which Perkins hopes isn't anytime soon, he will be on the first flight to wherever Rondo is staying to help in his friend's rehabilitation.

"You already know, that's my dude," Perkins said, grinning. "We'll go through the rehab, together, for real. He knows I'll be there. It'll be tough, but he'll be alright. I know Rondo. He's going to attack his rehab, get his body right and I'll be there for him."