BOSTON (CBS) – Over the last few weeks, the belief was that Rajon Rondo was nearing a return to the Boston Celtics.

It’s been 10 months since Rondo suffered an ACL injury that ended his 2012-13 season and has sidelined him for the start of the new campaign, but he’s been taking part in non-contact drills and practicing with the team so his return will be a smooth transition.

It was thought that the return could happen as soon as this month, but it sounds a little further away than we may have thought. Celtics president Danny Ainge gave his weekly Rondo update on Thursday morning’s Toucher & Rich, and said the C’s franchise player is not close to return.

“I don’t think he’s close, meaning I don’t think its going to happen the next few weeks,” Ainge said. “We’re not on pins and needles about it, and we’re being cautions with Rondo. He still has a little bit of a limp. He is making progress, but we’re not close.”

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Ainge said Rondo was playing some 2-on-2 on Wednesday, and still has that competitive fire when he is on the court.

“He was in a 2-on-2 game and was really competing and having run. He was playing with (Phil) Pressey and Courney Lee and MarShon Brooks, and the four of them were having a very competitive battle,” said Ainge. “Rondo didn’t win one of the games and he was very upset. He was trying, but he’s just not himself yet.”

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“He’s getting there, and he’s pushing himself to get there. But he’s not there yet,” said Ainge. “We’re going to be very cautious with him and make sure he’s right before he comes back. There’s just a little bit of a limp still, and he’s got to get that strength in his knee back to 100 percent before we’ll let him back out on the court.”

Rondo is scheduled to meet with Dr. James Andrews in the coming weeks for a checkup on his knee, but will still need to receive clearance for full contact before he returns.


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