WALTHAM – Rajon Rondo’s chances of suiting up for the Boston Celtics on opening night next Wednesday just got a bit more realistic.
Head coach Brad Stevens told reporters that the point guard will take part in a full-contact practice today for the first time since undergoing surgery to repair a broken bone in his left hand last month.
The practice session will be an intense one, as the Celtics start to make their final preparations leading up to their regular season opener against the Brooklyn Nets. Rondo is expected to take part in all the practice action with a protective pad on his left hand that Stevens .
“He will go through the whole practice today and it will just be a matter, again, of how big that pad is,” Stevens said of Rondo. “I think that’s the biggest thing moving forward. It’s really about getting hit or not. So obviously, see how he feels after this. We’ve got Saturday and Sunday off. Monday or Tuesday, we should know more.”
Rondo has worn a protective mitt on his hand while working out for the past several weeks. If he’s able to play on Wednesday, it remains unclear whether he would be able to wear any kind of hand protection during game action.
“I would think that there has got to be [restrictions on what he can wear],” Stevens said of the pad. “I don’t know what the restrictions are from the NBA standpoint. I’m sure that they’ll work on that appropriately, and if he’s able to play they’ll come up with the right contraption for him to wear.”
Team doctors will determine if Rondo is given the green light to return to the lineup ahead of schedule next week. Rookie Marcus Smart will get the start at point guard if Rondo can’t go, according to Stevens.
The Celtics initially estimated Rondo would miss 6 to 8 weeks of action following the hand surgery. If 28-year-old is able to play in the opener, he will have undergone a recovery time of just under five weeks since the hand procedure.