WALTHAM, Mass. — It’s beginning to look more and more likely that Rajon Rondo will be on the court for the Boston Celtics on opening night.
The point guard began taking some contact in practice earlier this week, and head coach Brad Stevens said he has seen no ill effects.
“(He’s looked) great,” Stevens said before Thursday practice session. “He’s got almost a baseball mitt on there, so it’s pretty well padded.”
Stevens said the plan is to increase the contact Rondo takes in practice over the next two days and possibly bring him in for some individual work this weekend. The Celtics as a team have both Saturday and Sunday off.
“Even though he hasn’t played an exhibition game, I do want him to take a little bit of time this weekend off,” Stevens said. “We may get together just with him on Saturday or Sunday and go over anything else we feel like we need to.
Rondo’s conditioning is not an issue — he began running and working out shortly after undergoing surgery Sept. 25 — but how his surgically repaired hand responds to game-level contact is. Stevens mentioned the large pad Rondo is wearing in practice and said the point guard will wear whatever NBA rules allow when he does return to game action.
“Whatever he can (wear), he will,” Stevens said. “The biggest thing will be over the next few days determining if it’s as healed as it needs to be. And, all indications are that it’s healing really quickly and the surgery was a great success. I think he’s more ready to roll than not.”
Stevens confirmed Thursday that rookie Marcus Smart will get the start at point guard in Wednesday’s season opener against the Brooklyn Nets if Rondo is unable to go.
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