Rondo's Comeback Bid Continues as Planned

Marc D'Amico
Team Reporter and Analyst

addByline("Marc D'Amico", "Celtics.com", "Marc_DAmico");

WALTHAM, Mass. – The Boston Celtics continue to operate as planned – and hoped – in their attempt to have Rajon Rondo available for Wednesday’s Opening Night.

The star point guard began practicing in minimal-contact drills earlier this week and his hand has held up “great” under the increased workload, according to Brad Stevens.

Stevens stated prior to Thursday afternoon’s practice that Rondo will continue to increase his participation in contact drills over the next two days before the Celtics take the weekend off.

“The biggest thing over the next few days is determining [if it’s] as healed as it needs to be,” said Stevens. “All indications are that it’s healing really quickly and the surgery was a great success. I think he’s more ready to roll than not.”

Rondo has been wearing and will continue to wear a wrap and pad, which Stevens likened to a baseball mitt, on his surgically-repaired left hand when he participates in contact drills. Boston’s medical staff has advised Rondo to wear the pad since he is only three-plus weeks removed from surgery.

“[The pad is] all about the healing timeline,” Stevens commented.

Regardless of the presence of the pad, Stevens said that Rondo’s comfort level is in a good place.

“I think he feels great,” said Stevens. “I think he’s got good mobility and flexibility and he bends his fingers well.”

Stevens also said that Rondo is in a good place when it comes to conditioning. Rondo has been able to work out for a good two weeks now and has been running skeleton offensive drills (no defensive players) for the past 10 days.

Skeleton drills are one thing, but Rondo’s current participation level is another. He’s nearly practicing without limitations, which not only allows him to become game-ready, but also heightens the competition level during each practice.

“Practice becomes like a structured streetball game, because Rondo is the guy that pushes everyone,” Avery Bradley said. “He goes hard every single possession. He really pushes our team, and it shows when he’s in practice why he’s our leader.”

The next step is for the Celtics to have their leader available for Opening Night. That has been the plan and hope all along, and it has yet to be derailed.