Rondo: 'Feeling great' but won't speculate on return

Rondo: 'Feeling great' but won't speculate on return
October 23, 2013, 11:30 pm
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BOSTON — Rajon Rondo won't tip his hand as to when he anticipates a return to the court as he recovers from the torn right ACL he sustained in January.

Still, the four-time All-Star sounds optimistic - very optimistic - that he will resume full basketball activities in the very near future.

"I got fitted for my first [knee] brace, so I don't think contact will be too far from now," Rondo told reporters on Wednesday night after the Celtics defeated the Brooklyn Nets, 101-97 in the preseason finale. "So I'm just waiting to get cleared from my doctors."

Rondo has indeed been more active with his individual workout sessions with the Celtics strength and conditioning coaches, increasing both in their intensity and length of time.

"I'm feeling great, working out everyday," he said. "I'm able to do more as far as compound workouts versus me just doing one workout a day. So I'm doing more on my leg and I'm able to handle it. So, I'm getting better. It's getting stronger each day."

Although Rondo has been off the court for Boston since being injured on January 25 at Atlanta, his impact is clearly felt and seen with this current group of Celtics.

Among those most impacted by Rondo has been rookie point guard Phil Pressey who had a couple of Rondo-like, no-look passes for assists in Boston's win over Brooklyn.

"He's a great point guard and he wants to see us win," said Pressey. "He has a competitive mindset; he's always trying to get better and he always wants us to win. He's helped me out. And I feel when he gets back, it's only going to get better."

And there lies the question on everyone's mind ... when is Rondo coming back?

He has remained vague on a target date, although at the earliest sometime December would make the most sense considering the Celtics' schedule (15 games, 12 at home).

"I'll be returning in 2013-2014 season," said Rondo, who added that he would like to play in the opener next Wednesday at Toronto "but that's not likely."

When Rondo spoke to a handful of media members at the announcement of his new deal with Chinese shoe and apparel maker Anta earlier this month, he said he would return when he was both physically and mentally ready to resume playing at a high level.

"Basketball is a game of instincts," Rondo said at the Anta signing. "You have to go out there and just play the game. You can't second-guess anything you do out there. The way I play; run, jump, change direction so quickly, you don't have time to think about the injury you had. When I get to that point and I'm doing it with contact, I'll play."

Rondo said on Wednesday that he's seeing steady progress.

"I know it's getting stronger each week and whenever I'm able to jump off my right leg and probably dunk, that's when I'll be back to play," he said.