Boston Celtics star point guard Rajon Rondo has returned to practice and is scrimmaging with the team, but he says he's still not close to returning to game action as he continues to recover from a torn ACL, according to Baxter Holmes of the Boston Globe:
"It might be mid-January, late February, I'm going to come back when the time is right and I get my stamina," Rondo said after the Celtics' 106-79 loss to the Pacers at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Sunday.
Rondo really emphasized the fact that getting his conditioning back is of the utmost importance. While the point guard acknowledges his knee feels fine, he wants to make sure he comes back in tip-top shape to help avoid another possible injury:
"My endurance is key for me," he said. "I don't want to come back and not be fully 100 percent as far as my health and me being in shape as well, because the worst thing is me coming back and not being in shape and have another injury, so I want to make sure I'm in basketball condition."
Rondo admitted he got winded very quickly during his last scrimmage with the team, which likely helped provide the impetus for these comments. Rondo says the injuries to Derrick Rose and Kobe Bryant coming back from serious injuries isn't weighing on his mind, but there's no doubt he's being pretty cautious. The 27-year-old underwent surgery on his ACL in February.
It's clear Rondo is coming back on his terms and won't do it until he's completely sure he's ready to go. That's probably for the best for both him and the Celtics, who aren't contenders this season despite their recent run atop the Atlantic Division.