NEW YORK – Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo said he remains “anxious” to return to the court for the first time this season after having knee surgery nearly 11 months ago, but he added that no timeline for his return exists as of Tuesday.
The next step in his rehabilitation process, as the Globe reported last week, is for him to meet with Dr. James Andrews later this month.
“I’ve been anxious ever since I hurt myself,” Rondo said after the Celtics’ morning shootaround at Baruch College before the team faces the Brooklyn Nets on Tuesday night. “It’s a long process. Some days are better than others, but I’m patient and I’m not going to rush.”
He hasn’t done much to test his right knee lately beyond running and some agility drills.
“I’m confident, but like I said, I haven’t practiced or anything so it’s hard to say,” Rondo said. “One-on-one is different from actually going through picks and hitting the floor, playing 5-on-5, getting back in transition, making the quick moves without thinking about it. I haven’t done any of that.”
Celtics team doctor Brian McKeon will also make the trip with Rondo to Florida to see Dr. Andrews.
There, Andrews and McKeon will likely determine the next step in the rehabilitation process for Rondo, which could mean that he’ll be cleared to participate in full-contact practice.
Though he hasn’t played for the Celtics this season, Rondo said has been impressed with the growth of his teammates from when the season started until now. Boston has won 6 of 8 and sits atop the Atlantic Division with a 10-12 record.
“I think it’s pretty much night and day,” Rondo said. “I think now we’re in a good groove, guys are playing for one another, making the extra pass, defensively we’re helping a lot more. I think that’s the key to our success right now.”
He added, in part: “The way the team is playing now, it’s hard to scout our team because it’s not just one guy doing all the scoring. It’s a collective effort, a group of guys and 5-6 guys in double figures each night. It’s hard to stop a team. Not to compare us, but like the Pacers are a hard team to scout. The way we’re playing right now, we’re in good rhythm.”
It has been impressive how some of the younger Celtics — such as Jordan Crawford or Jared Sullinger or Kelly Olynyk — have come along since the season started.
“I don’t look at them as young players,” Rondo said. “Just guys that are making the sacrifice for one another and playing for one another. I know these guys could play. I’m not excited (about people stepping up). But I’m excited to play with them.”
Will Rondo have any emotions when Doc Rivers returns to TD Garden Wednesday, when the Celtics will face the Clippers?
“None. I’m not an emotional guy. So I won’t tear up or anything,” Rondo said.