It has been nearly three months since it was announced that Boston Celtics All-Star point guard Rajon Rondo had a torn ACL in his right knee and would likely miss the rest of the season. It had already been an up and down season in which the aging veterans on the roster were attempting to make one last run at hanging an 18th banner in the rafters at TD Garden.
Since that fateful day, the team has been on a roller coaster ride of seven-game winning streaks to looking like a lottery team. Their record of 20-15 however, is actually better than most experts would have expected. Rondo has only spent a couple of games with the team since his injury on the bench in street clothes although CLNS Radio's locker room reporter Jared Weiss revealed recently that Rondo has participated in a shootaround prior to a game. We even have proof below.
After tweaking his knee during a Friday night game against the Atlanta Hawks a couple of days prior to the team revealing that the injury was a tear in his ACL, Rondo himself didn't know the severity of the injury. He never felt a pop. As his team goes into the final week of the season and preparing to begin the playoffs without him, he spoke with ESPN's Hannah Storm recently and discussed finally accepting the injury as a part of the game although it's frustrating to not be on the floor with his teammates.
“I’m in a place now where I am OK with it. I know this is my main focus, getting healthy.”
At the time, prior to the start of the Miami Heat matchup on January 27th that marked the return of former Celtic Ray Allen, Rondo claimed that something didn't feel right. He was sent for an MRI and it was on the radio on the way back to the Garden where he heard that the injury was an ACL tear.
In discussing the rehab that he has had to go through since getting surgery to repair the injury, Rondo described it as "intense". The exercises are building strength in his leg.
This is a learning process all over again as far as my leg. It’ll be good for me, have a chance to let my body heal and work on things I never worked on my body before.”
The timeline of the recovery is still in the 9-12 month range and according to ESPNBoston's Chris Forsberg, who wrote about the Rondo interview with Storm drew comparisions to other athletes with a similar injury and their return times. Adrian Peterson almost miraculously came back to the Minnesota Vikings after less than 9 months while Derrick Rose has yet to return 11 months post-surgery.
The Celtics will most certainly miss Rondo during their playoff run, no matter how long it is but there is no determination yet on whether he will miss any time going into next season.