Rajon Rondo ‘Has to Be Ready, Has to Feel Good’ Before He Plays for Celtics Again, Brad Stevens Says

Rajon Rondo, Brad StevensBOSTON — With Rajon Rondo returning to practice last weekend, Celtics fans are eager to count down the days until his return.

The Celtics are not putting any deadline for his comeback into place, however, and haven’t been specific on an estimated return date other than to say it won’t be until after Jan. 1. Whenever Rondo does play in games again will be entirely his call, once he hits certain benchmarks in his rehabilitation, coach Brad Stevens said Monday.

And that’s just the way Stevens thinks it should be.

“I don’t see how it could be anything else,” Stevens said during his pregame media availability before the Celtics took on the Timberwolves at TD Garden. “Ultimately, a person has to be ready and he has to feel good. There are certain physical things he’ll have to meet to be cleared to even be considered for games that he has not met yet, but nobody should make that call other than the individual involved, in my opinion.”

On Saturday, Rondo was cleared for all practice activities. He has not played in a game since Jan. 25, when he tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee during a double-overtime loss to the Hawks.

Rondo warmed up and took some shots on the parquet floor prior to the game on Monday, as he has throughout the season.