Ainge expects Rondo to be ready for opener

Ainge expects Rondo to be ready for opener
July 5, 2013, 2:00 pm
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WALTHAM -- As the Boston Celtics fill out their roster this offseason, there are players President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge expects to have on the court Opening Night. Rajon Rondo is one of them.

Rondo suffered a torn right ACL in January and is currently rehabbing for his return next season. Celtics strength and conditioning coach Bryan Doo was with Rondo when he traveled for vacation and Rondo has a physical therapist with him in Louisville, Kentucky while he is there to host his basketball camp. Rondo is slated to return to Boston following his camp for continued treatment.

"I don't really know a timeline, but when they did the surgery -- and I hate to put pressure on the player -- but I think his goal and a very realistic goal is to be ready Opening Night," Ainge said following head coach's Brad Stevens introductory press conference. "I'm guessing that training camp will be maintenance, maybe not do two-a-days, maybe miss a day here or there, but I think that our objective is he'll be ready Opening Night. I haven't heard anything that's suggested otherwise."

As Rondo works on his knee, he is already working on his relationship with his new head coach. Ainge reached out to Rondo to tell him of the hiring this week and Stevens has already had conversations with the point guard.

"Rondo's reaction was, 'Is that the guy that coached Gordon Hayward and Shelvin Mack?'" Ainge recalled. "I said, 'Yeah yeah, that's the guy.' He said, 'Oh yeah, OK, that sounds great.' I know that they talked and it sounded like their talk went really well. They want to get together and see if they can develop a relationship before the season starts."

Stevens has expressed his enthusiasm to coach Rondo once he hits the court. Rondo averaged 13.7 points, 11.1 assists, and 5.6 rebounds in 38 games last season.