We’ve talked ad nauseum about Rajon Rondo’s return — when it might happen, when we can expect him to be ready, when we can expect him to be healthy, when we can expect him to be Rondo, etc. And, frankly, we will continue to do so until he returns. It’s kind of a huge deal.
Recently, Danny Ainge went on record saying he would be shocked if Rondo was ready to go by the start of the season, tentatively hypothesizing a December return.
Here’s ESPN Boston’s Chris Forsberg:
Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge said he’d be “shocked” if Rajon Rondo was ready for the start of the regular season in late October and hinted that an early December return is more likely for the All-Star point guard.
During an appearance on Boston sports radio 98.5 the SportsHub before the Shamrock Foundation’s sixth annual Teeing up For Kids Golf Tournament at Wollaston Golf Club, Ainge guessed an early December return for Rondo, but stressed later that there is no firm timeline.
“He seems to be in a really good place, emotionally, mentally,” Ainge said, “and now we’re just trying to get the physical part done — and he’s got a ways to go.”
Early December seems like a reasonable time to begin integrating Rondo back into the lineup, although we can probably expect to wait until January to see him starting games. If Timberwolves’ point guard Ricky Rubio is any indicator, we can probably expect to wait even longer for him to begin playing like an All-Star again. Rubio struggled for several months after his (perhaps premature) return before looking more like himself by the end of the season.
One other ACL-recovery storyline to watch will be Derrick Rose in Chicago. Rose’s recovery was obviously lengthy (and, as a result, has been the subject of thousands of internet memes), but if he comes back stronger than ever after having taken an entire year off, it may have wide-reaching implications. Minnesota Vikings’ running back Adrian Peterson’s
somewhat dubious super-heroic return from the injury aside, if Rose’s return is successful, he may become something closer to the blueprint than the punchline.
I’m certainly not saying Rondo will miss the 2013-14 season. For one thing, his injury was less severe than Rose’s. For another, it happened midway through the regular season, whereas Rose’s happened in the playoffs. But keeping Rondo out during essentially a lost season makes plenty of sense, and Boston’s intentions to keep him out as long as necessary are probably wise.
Follow Tom on Twitter: @Tom_NBA.
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