Doctors Clear Rajon Rondo for Full Practice

WALTHAM, Mass. – Brad Stevens delivered an early Christmas gift to Celtics fans on Saturday. Stevens revealed that All-Star point guard Rajon Rondo, who is recovering from a torn right anterior cruciate ligament, has been cleared for full practice.

Stevens said that Rondo took a trip, along with team physician Dr. Brian McKeon, to see Dr. James Andrews on Friday. Andrews gave Rondo and the Celtics great news by approving him for full contact and full practice.

Rajon Rondo on the sideline in a suit

Rajon Rondo could return to the Celtics lineup next month.
Brian Babineau/NBAE/Getty Images

“He’s not been cleared 100 percent until yesterday for practice, but he has done some stuff where he’s been cleared from along the way,” Stevens said. “So he’s done more and more, and today he did the most he’s done.”

This is just the latest hurdle that Rondo has overcome during a lengthy rehab program that began back in February. The point guard has taken minor steps along the way, but this one is undoubtedly the largest step of them all.

The fact that Rondo has been cleared for full contact sets up the next big step: returning to game action. Stevens is cautiously optimistic that he and the Celtics will have No. 9 in the lineup sometime next month.

“He won’t play in games, is what I’ve been told, until after the first of the year, and that still is – we’re talking in big generalities there,” said Stevens. “I don’t know when that means. It could mean a month from now, it could mean six weeks from now. There’s a lot of different variables that have to be met for him to be cleared for games.”

Stevens also said that it “probably doesn’t look like we’re going to see him on the court anytime this month.” With that fact in mind, Stevens is devoting most of his attention to the guys who are currently available to play.

“I haven’t thought a ton about it because it really hasn’t presented itself, and it still isn’t going to present itself anytime in the very, very near future,” Stevens said of working Rondo into the rotation. “So my focus is on what we can do on Monday (against Minnesota).”

Still, though, the coach admits that he’s giving some thought as to how he’ll integrate the two-time assist champion into the lineup.

“But certainly, you’re thinking about how you’re going to not only get him into it, ease him into it, but also how you’re going to manage everything around that, because there’s a lot of good players that are playing at a high level,” he said. “The key is to continue those guys playing well and add in another very good player.”

The Celtics began that process today thanks to Rondo being cleared for full participation in practice. He isn’t back in the lineup just yet, but Celtics fans will certainly enjoy this breaking news just ahead of the holidays.