Rajon Rondo worked out at the United Center in Chicago before the Celtics’ Thursday night game against the Bulls and took some time to answer questions about his ongoing recovery from surgery to repair a torn ACL.
While appearing on Comcast SportsNet New England’s pregame show, Rondo didn’t commit to any timetable for his return, as he has declined to do throughout his rehab. He did say he’s progressing and looking forward to a possible stint with the D-League’s Maine Red Claws before he plays in any NBA games.
“I’m still getting my endurance, but I’m getting pretty close,” Rondo said. “I’m feeling good, feeling better. Like I said, I’m feeling better than last week.”
Rondo was asked if he needed to pass a specific test to tell him he’s back to full strengh.
“Yeah, a 12-minute quarter,” Rondo said. “[I'll] see what I can do. I don’t want to go out there, get fatigued and cause another injury, so I want to make sure I’m ready to go and I’m in shape.”
Atlanta Hawks guard Lou Williams, who also tore his ACL last season and rehabbed with Rondo in Florida last summer, visited TD Garden on Tuesday. Rondo was seen chatting before that game with Williams, who has been back since Nov. 15.
Rondo cautioned that he likely will not immediately revert to his All-Star level of play once he returns. His playing time will be limited as he works back into shape, and the Celtics will closely monitor his movements for any sign of worry about his knee. If fans’ expectations are high, Rondo is realistic.
“I’ve had bad days even when I didn’t have the surgery,” Rondo said. “That’s the NBA season. It’s a long season. The main thing for me is if we win. I won’t be, I’m not coming back playing 38 minutes a night, so I will have an impact on the game but not like I usually have, when I first come back.”