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Rajon Rondo is expected to return to game action in January

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Boston Celtics coach Brad Stevens delivered an early Christmas gift to Celtics fans on Dec. 14. Stevens revealed that All-Star point guard Rajon Rondo, who is recovering from a torn right anterior cruciate ligament, has been cleared for full practice. Rondo received clearance to resume full-contact practice activities on Dec. 13.

Rondo traveled Friday with team physician Dr. Brian McKeon to meet with operating surgeon Dr. James Andrews, who examined Rondo's progress and cleared him to return to practice activities. The Celtics threw Rondo into the fire on Saturday, engaging in a spirited 45-minute session despite coming off game action on Friday night.

"[Rondo] had a good trip [Friday], as far as getting good news, and it looks like he’s on schedule to be closer, but still probably doesn’t look like we’re going to see him on the court any time this month," said Stevens. "Hopefully as we get into January, he’ll be closer."

Rondo underwent ACL surgery in mid-February, about two weeks after initially tearing the ligament. He's been able to engage in limited-contact activities recently, including games of 1-on-1 and 2-on-2 with teammates, but needed Andrews' clearance to dive back into 5-on-5 full-contact activities.

How did Rondo look in his first full practice back?

"Pretty good," Stevens said with a sly smile.

The Celtics are currently in first place in the Eastern Division with a 11-14 record, however, they could use Rondo’s creativity on the offensive end as the Celtics are 29th in the NBA in assists (18.2) and 23rd in the league in scoring (94.6).

Prior to getting hurt last year, Rondo averaged 13.7 points, 5.6 rebounds, 11.1 assists and 1.84 steals per game.

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