Rondo Could Be Ready for Opening Night

Marc D'Amico
Team Reporter and Analyst

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WALTHAM, Mass. – Rajon Rondo appears to be ahead of schedule in his recovery from a fractured third left metacarpal and may be available to play on Opening Night.

Rondo originally suffered the injury on Sept. 25 and underwent surgery to repair the fracture on Sept. 26. The original timetable for his return was six to eight weeks, but Brad Stevens stated on Monday that he’s cautiously optimistic about a return for Opening Night on Oct. 29, which is just four weeks removed from Rondo’s surgery date.

“I think it’s a possibility,” the coach said.

Momentum has been building in this direction for a couple of weeks now. Rondo began participating in non-contact practice drills about a week and a half ago and has suffered no setbacks to date.

“It doesn’t bother me at all,” he said. “When I dribble the ball, catch the ball, it doesn’t bother me.”

If that continues to be the case, he’s likely to be cleared for full participation sooner rather than later.

“He’s progressing great,” said Stevens. “Obviously, he won’t do any contact before the end of the week but there’s a chance that he’ll be cleared to do some stuff by the end of the week.”

Such an occurrence would give Rondo approximately three to five days of full basketball participation to prepare for Boston’s first game. That seems like plenty of time for a four-time All-Star to get back into the swing of things.

Aiding the prospects of an Opening Night return is the fact that this injury hasn’t hampered Rondo in the same manner that his torn right ACL did a year ago. Rondo is confident that he’s in position to make a smooth return once he’s given the green light.

“I’m pretty much up to speed with all of the plays. I can still do dummy O [offense],” he said. “This injury is different from last year, obviously, because I can run now and this is my off hand.”

The facts seem to be stacking up in favor of a successful Opening Night return for Rondo. He has healed at an extraordinary rate, making what was a far-fetched idea now look like a very reasonable possibility.