Rajon Rondo says he feels fine — as fine as a person recovering from major knee surgery can feel, anyway.
The famously impatient Boston Celtics point guard is exhibiting some unusual restraint, however, as he slowly works his way back into game shape. He hasn’t kicked up a fuss about being limited to playing in five-minute increments in his first two games back, and he is heeding his doctors’ orders for pregame and postgame treatment.
Rondo would love to ditch the bulky knee brace that he believes hinders some of his lower-body movement. But he won’t.
“I want to throw it away, but I have to wear it right now,” Rondo said, according to Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald. “The rest of this season, I’ll play with the brace — just precaution. I don’t necessarily think I need it, but I think it helps me mentally when I’m out there. If I make a certain cut or move, [it provides] a little bit more stability.”
Although his injury was far less severe, Celtics big man Jared Sullinger threw away a protective glove that covered his bruised left hand after just two games earlier this season. Sullinger’s philosophy was that the pain was the same either way, so he didn’t want to be restricted.
Rondo’s predicament is more complicated, of course. The brace helps stabilize the knee joint while the surgically reconstructed ligament heels and Rondo can get back into playing shape. If Rondo did toss the brace to the side in the middle of play, Celtics coach Brad Stevens likely would call an immediate timeout to make his point guard put it back on.
For now, Rondo is taking the long view over the short-term gain. It’s an approach that fits in well with the Celtics’ larger organizational approach to this season.
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