WALTHAM – Rajon Rondo has been cleared for full contact in practice, meaning the Celtics' all-star point guard is one more step closer to returning to action.
However when he announced the news, Celtics coach Brad Stevens said after practice Saturday the team still doesn't expect Rondo to be back on the court this month.
"He won’t play in games, is what I’ve been told, until after the first of the year," Stevens said. "And that still is, we’re talking in big generalities there. I don’t know when that means. It could mean a month from now, it could mean six weeks from now. There’s a lot of different variables that have to be met for him to be cleared for games."
Rondo hasn't played since January 2013, when he tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee. Dr. James Andrews operated on Rondo the following month, and Rondo has been sidelined since as he recovers from his first major knee injury.
Stevens said Rondo was cleared Friday after visiting Dr. Andrews.
Rondo has been participating more and more in practices in recent weeks, though he still hadn't done any full-contact drills.
"He’s done more and more, and today he did the most he’s done," Stevens said.