Rajon Rondo is targeting Jan. 17 for his season debut, according to Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports. The Boston Celtics host the Los Angeles Lakers, who will be in the middle of a seven-game road trip. Rondo will have missed 40 games if he makes his return by the 17th.
Rondo had spoken to media earlier Friday and told reporters he intended to return before the All-Star game, but would not single out a specific date. A return on Jan. 17 is just under a month out from the All-Star Game. He underwent surgery on his right knee in February after tearing his ACL, and has been patient in his recovery. Rondo is concerned with his conditioning leading up to his return, stating he didn't want his cardio fitness to hurt the team.
He considered a rehab assignment in the D-league with the Maine Red Claws, but has since cooled on the idea. Boston, meanwhile, has lost its last six games and is just 13-23 on the season.