Rondo unsure on return: 'I haven't practiced'

Rondo unsure on return: 'I haven't practiced'
December 10, 2013, 2:00 pm
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NEW YORK -- Rajon Rondo will meet with his doctors later this month to see where his surgically-repaired knee stands. That much he knows.

As far as his return to the court, that remains very much in the air for the four-time All-Star point guard.

Not only has Rondo not been cleared for full contact in practice, but he told reporters on Tuesday that he has yet to even play five-on-five.

Depending on whether he's cleared for full contact, the earliest one can envision Rondo returning to action would be the end of this month and even that would be a bit of a stretch.

Rondo remains confident that his right knee is getting stronger and that he is trending towards a return sooner rather than later. But he still has a number of steps to take before he'll be back in the lineup.

"I'm confident, but I haven't practiced or anything," he said. "It's hard to say. One-on-one is different than actually going through picks, hitting the floor, playing five-on-five. Getting back in transition, making quick moves without thinking about it. It's different. I haven't done any of that yet."

And while some might think Rondo is getting antsier to return knowing he's closer physically, his anticipation level isn't any greater now than it was shortly after suffering the torn right ACL injury on Jan. 25.

"I've been anxious since I hurt myself," he said. "So, it's a long process. Some days are better than others. But I'm patient."

So are the Celtics (10-12) who come into tonight's game atop the Atlantic Division while being led by Rondo's replacement, the reigning Eastern Conference's Player of the Week, Jordan Crawford.

"Jordan's been in the league, this is his fourth year," Rondo said. "He's played that position for a while, the two (shooting guard) and the one (point guard). It's a lot different as far as conditioning, at the one than at the two. He's shooting the ball extremely well. He's making plays for his teammates and some games he rebounds well."

And upon Rondo's return, there will be times when head coach Brad Stevens will pair the two together in the backcourt.

"You got multiple guys that can attack off pick and roll," Stevens said of the tandem-to-be. "Multiple guys that can attack the paint, get in the paint and pass. You talk about playing inside-out. You either play inside-out via the drive or the post-up. We've gotten good results from our post-ups. So the more driving we can add, the better."

The fact that so many of his teammates have stepped up and played well this year has created optimism that Rondo's return could catapult the Celtics into being an even more solid playoff contender than they are now.

"Guys playing for one another," Rondo said, "making the extra pass, defensively helping out . . . that's the key to our success so far."