Rajon Rondo will return to the court on Friday. According to a report by CBS Sports on Jan. 16, Boston Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge confirmed that the All-Star point guard will play when the Celtics face the Los Angeles Lakers Friday night at the TD Bank Garden.
Barring a setback, it will be the first time Rondo has played since his knee surgery back in January of 2013. Rondo, who eyed a return before the All-Star break, is physically ready, but according to Ainge, some of that rehabilitation was mental confidence.
In a interview with 98.5 FM in Boston Ainge said:
“There have been ups and downs in his rehab, but he’s been making steady progress and he feels it’s time. I think there will be an adjustment for him on the court, but he has to go through that at some point to get confidence back in his knee.”
In anticipation of Rondo’s return, the Celtics have made trades involving guards Courtney Lee, Jordan Crawford and MarShon Brooks to free up a logjam at the position. The return also comes after the Celtics snapped a nine-game losing streak.
Head coach Brad Stevens is certainly welcoming Rondo back and said he’s intrigued to see how Rondo performs, particularly as the new leader of the team, but warns fans have to be patient.
“I’m intrigued to see how that all shakes itself out. I think obviously the community is going to be really excited, as they should be, and our players will be really excited. And I think it’s appropriate for everyone to temper their expectations of him, especially early on in this comeback.”
A greater question may be how Rajon Rondo has grown on a maturity level as he returns to a team that is on the road of rebuilding.