After hearing that Derrick Rose is 100 percent, though he can do “almost everything,” some other banged up players are releasing timetables for their return. One player in particular will be taking on a lot of new responsibilities after the departure of his star teammates to Brooklyn. Unfortunately, Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo is unlikely to be ready by the season’s start after ACL surgery.
CSN New England Celtics Insider A. Sherrod Blakely writes that “While there hasn’t been a delay in his recovery, Rondo’s timetable looks more and more like he will miss all of the preseason as well as some regular season games.”
New Celtics coach Brad Stevens spent some time with Rondo last week in Boston and while he remains confident of Rondo’s full recovery from the surgery on his torn ACL in early February this year, he’s not sure when he’ll be back to full strength for a return to the court.
“That’s something that you have to balance,” Stevens said. “You are going to introduce some things that may be best for him Oct. 7 in our first exhibition game, and he may not be available. So you’re gonna have to figure out where you go from there and how to best fit pieces into those spots.”
Obviously the Celtics are rebuilding after letting Doc Rivers out of his contract to coach the Clippers (getting a first-round draft pick in return) and trading Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett to Brooklyn this summer, but Rondo is said to be a part of those rebuilding efforts despite lots of trade interest for GM Danny Ainge to mull.
With Rondo’s return in doubt, it could lead to speculation â€” I guess this is speculative as well â€” that the Celtics are deliberately holding him back a bit for a chance at a better pick in next summer’s monumental draft. But more likely they’re making sure Rondo is 100 percent âˆ’ like Rose now claims â€” before he returns to the court.
If Ainge and Co. are serious about Rondo spearheading their rebuilding efforts, they’d be wise to make sure he’s totally healthy before trotting out on the court with their younger (and cheaper) roster. Whether that decision spurs tanking talk from observers, remains to be seen, but Rondo’s recovery will be a talking point if he’s not ready to go at the start of the 2013-14 season.
When do you think Rondo will return for the Celtics?
Follow Spencer on Twitter at @countcenci.
Follow Dime on Twitter at @DimeMag.
Become a fan of Dime Magazine on Facebook HERE.