Rondo: Won't return until endurance improves

Rondo: Won't return until endurance improves
December 22, 2013, 9:30 pm
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After a pair of pick-up games following practice last week, Rajon Rondo was pooped.

For all the concern about his surgically repaired ACL in his right knee, Rondo says his stamina is the biggest hurdle keeping him from returning to action.

"My endurance is key for me," he told reporters after Boston's 106-79 loss at Indiana on Sunday. "I don't want to come back and not be fully 100 percent as far as my health and me being in shape as well. The worst thing for me is to not be in shape and have another injury. I want to make sure I'm in basketball condition shape."

After initially telling reporters a January return was not realistic for his return, he later said that, "it might be mid-January, late February. I'm going to come back when the time is right and when I get my stamina."

Rondo has done a considerable amount of conditioning during the rehabilitation process, but he knows there's nothing he can do to fully simulate playing the game.

"You can run all the sprints you want, off the court or get on the bike, but being out 10, 11 months without playing the game of basketball ... it's not easy to get back in shape by just doing those type of things. You have to play basketball."

And for Rondo, that means having an occasional spill or two to the floor.

During the recent pick-up game that he initiated with his teammates, Rondo was bumped to the floor on more than one occasion.

And unlike those Jackie Chan out-takes when his co-stars rush to his aid whenever a stunt goes awry, Rondo's teammates didn't seem any more concerned for him when he hit the ground than they were during regular season or playoff games.

"The knee is fine," Rondo said. "It's not about falls. That's part of my game. I'm going to fall. I fell before. I'm not afraid to hit the floor. It's a matter of just going up and down the court."

And with time and more five-on-five work, Rondo's stamina will increase.

But in terms of a defining moment or test that'll signal his return, Rondo says that doesn't exist.

"I know what I felt like before I played before I hurt my knee," he said. "When I get back to that type of feeling, then I'll be back."