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BOSTON (CBS) – It’s been nine months since Rajon Rondo tore his ACL, and the Boston Celtics point guard is still working his way back from the injury.
He isn’t expected to be back on the court until December or January, and both the player and team won’t set a return date. But Rondo surprised quite a few people on Wednesday night when he took the podium following Boston’s preseason finale, offering a glimpse into his road to recovery.
“I’m feeling great,” said Rondo, who has yet to be cleared for contact. “Working out every day. I’m able to do more as far as compound workouts versus me just doing one workout a day. So I’m doing more on my leg and I’m able to handle it. I’m getting better. It’s getting stronger each day.”
“I got fitted for my first brace, so I don’t think contact will be too far from now,” he said. “So I’m just waiting to get cleared from my doctors.”
Rondo said he would guess his leg is at 87 percent, give or take, but he is not going to rush back from the injury. While he may be in the stretch run of his recovery, he will take his time to make sure everything is 100 percent and ready to go, and not risk any possibility of further injuring himself.
“I’m taking it one week at a time,” Rondo said. “I know it’s getting stronger each week and whenever I’m able to jump off my right leg and probably dunk, that’s when I’ll be back to play.”
“When I get back out there I want to go full speed and I don’t want any limitations. So that’s when I’ll return, is when I’m able to do that,” he added. “I’ll know when it’s right.”
Rondo is staying busy while unable to play the game he loves, building a relationship with new Celtics head coach Brad Stevens. Stevens has even given Rondo some summer reading to do during his recovery.
“He’s given me a second book to read. I haven’t read this much since college” joked Rondo.
Rondo said the first book Stevens gave him, Mindset: The New Psychology Of Success by Carol Dweck, is now his favorite, and recommended everyone give it a read.
As for his team, who finished the preseason at 2-6, Rondo knows there will be plenty of growing pains this season with a rookie head coach and a revamped roster. But as was the case when the likes of Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett were in green, there will be no excuses for the Boston Celtics.
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“It’s going to be a process. It’s his first season and everybody is new,” he said. “But we don’t make excuses. We try to go out and get the job done. We didn’t have a great preseason at all, but now it’s for real. We didn’t make excuses, and now we’re going to show up against Toronto.”
New Celtics forward Gerald Wallace recently called out his team’s effort following a preseason loss, something Rondo was glad to see from the sidelines.
“We have to play for one-another. There may be nights when you don’t have your game offensively, but you still have to get down and communicate on defense, help the next man and play hard for the next guy,” said Rondo. “At the end of the day it’s all about the name on the front of the jersey. All that matters is wins and losses, not your individual stats.”
“If we continue to think like that, we’ll be fine,” he said.
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