BOSTON (CBS) — Rajon Rondo has shown numerous glimpses that he’s close to being back from last season’s ACL injury, and Sunday night’s 18-assist game against the Detroit Pistons is just the latest example.
But he’s still not 100 percent, and reminded everyone of that following Sunday night’s win. Rondo admitted that he’s still not ready to play in the second part of a back-to-back, and won’t be suiting up Wednesday night when the Celtics play the New York Knicks following a Tuesday night tilt against the Pacers in Indiana.
“If I was ready, I’d play,” Rondo said after Boston’s 118-111 win on Sunday night. “It’s a matter of a combination of things that bother me on my lower part of my body; my calves, my Achilles and then my knee. So it’s just a part of all of those three that are affecting me after games. The next day, I need the rest.”
Rondo said he’s been getting massage treatment on his lower body after every game, but that doesn’t take away all of the pain come the next morning.
“I’m pretty sore when I wake up,” he admitted. “My Achilles bothers me the most when I get out of bed. Throughout the day it gets better. I still don’t want to try to overdo it and something else may happen just because of that.”
That risk for any further injury is why Celtics head coach Brad Stevens pretty much ruled Rondo out of the second legs of the team’s five remaining back-to-backs this season. Stevens said on Sunday that the team is letting Rondo’s body dictate how much he plays, and until it can handle the rigors of two games in as many nights, the point guard won’t be suiting up.
“It’s really more how he feels the day after a game,” Stevens said. “So like [Saturday,] I asked him, ‘Are you sore? Are you tired? How do you feel?’ And he’s still a little bit sore day after games. Obviously, when we have these 48 hours instead of 24 hours, he can recover and it’s just another day to get his body right. That’s at least the thought. But it’ll be more his call than anybody else’s. He knows his body better than any of us.”
In 18 games since his return in mid-January, Rondo is averaging 12.2 points and 8.8 assists in 30.8 minutes per game.
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