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TORONTO – Rajon Rondo has returned to the Celtics lineup – at least in practice.
Brad Stevens revealed prior to tonight’s preseason tilt with the Raptors that the four-time All-Star and team captain has lightly participated in practice this week.
“Rondo has done some non-contact offensive type work in practice,” Stevens said. “Just shooting and some offensive review, but no real defensive work yet, and he hasn’t been OK’d for contact.”
This is the first major step Rondo has taken since undergoing surgery on Sept. 26 to repair a left metacarpal fracture in his left hand. Rondo’s next step in his recovery, which is approval to participate in contact drills, won’t be taken for another one to two weeks.
“We’ll know more hopefully in 10 days or so when he will get that word,” Stevens added.
Rondo’s light participation in practice is great news for a Celtics team that originally expected that the point guard would miss six to eight weeks with the injury. His return to non-contact drills arrived only two weeks after his surgery was performed. Being cleared for contact in 10 days could very well put Rondo on pace to return to the lineup far ahead of his doctors’ original target date.
Whenever Rondo is cleared for contact drills, Stevens believes that the point guard will be able to hit the ground running.
“The reason why he’s going to be able to better acclimate himself versus an ACL,” Stevens explained, “is that he can start the conditioning aspect of it because he can run as much as he needs to.”
That fact, combined with Rondo’s clearance to participate in practice, is setting the point guard up for a successful return to game action.