MIAMI — All-Star point guard Rajon Rondo made his first public comments since his season-ending knee injury suffered Jan. 25 in Atlanta.
Rondo, in an interview with ESPN’s Hannah Storm that aired Wednesday night, explained that he was ready to play Jan. 27 against Miami but that something didn’t feel right roughly 30 minutes before tip-off. He then went to a hospital to get an MRI.
“On the way back I heard on the radio, they were like, ‘Rondo might have a torn ACL,’” Rondo said. “I’m like, ‘How?’ I’m like, ‘We just got the results, there’s no way possible.’”
Of the injury itself, Rondo said he jumped and made a pass. “I didn’t hear it ‘pop.’ I just thought when I came down, I came down too early and hyperextended my leg, but I thought I could play through it. I didn’t know it was a season-ending injury.”
The All-Star point guard said he has no timetable for a return, though the Celtics have said they expect him to be ready by training camp.
“When I got out of surgery, for three or four weeks nobody said anything about when I’ll be back or when I’ll be able to play,” he said. “They just want me to take it one week at a time and see how I progress from there.
“Everybody’s body is different. Some play a different sport, everybody plays the game (of basketball) differently, so I think an injury like this varies.”
Rondo said he is “in a place where I’m okay with it. I know this is my main focus: just getting healthy.”
There has been a lot of chatter about how the Celtics will play when their ball-dominating guard returns. With him out, they reverted to an up-tempo, share-the-ball scheme, one that helped result in seven straight wins after his injury.
“I just try not to listen too much into it,” Rondo said. “I’m still talking to Danny (Ainge) weekly and Doc all the time. At the same time, I was happy for my teammates. We were winning. I wanted to make the playoffs because I think we were under .500 or right at .500 at the time, so I definitely wouldn’t be rooting against my team.
“And like I said earlier, those guys are like my brothers. So I wished them well. No big deal. I wasn’t jealous or buying into people saying they are better without me. If they are, they are, but for the most part, I’m still a Celtic.”