BOSTON – Rajon Rondo’s pregame nap appears to have gone well.
Coach Brad Stevens informed reporters in his pregame media session that Rondo would play and start in tonight’s opener against the Brooklyn Nets.
The point guard missed the entire preseason after suffering a broken bone in his left hand in late September. The team estimated he would be out for 6 to 8 weeks, but Rondo’s return tonight will come just five weeks after undergoing surgery to repair the fracture. Despite being cleared by team doctors, Rondo will wear a small protective pad on his left hand.
Rondo will not have any minute restrictions according to Stevens, but the coach may adjust the length of his stints on the court to adjust for his lack of on court time in the last few weeks.
“The way I’ve looked at it is I might play him in shorter stints,” Stevens said. “It will be about how he plays after that, since it really is his first preseason game as well.”
Rondo’s presence also will have no impact on Boston’s gameplan against Brooklyn.
“It doesn’t change anything,” Stevens said. “This has been the plan all along, to play this way with Rondo. He’s been able to do 5-on-0 and things like that for a couple weeks now. He’s been able to do contact since last Thursday with a heavy pad in practice. He’s as up to speed as he can be. He’s been here everyday and he’s ready to roll. Obviously, he’s been anxious to play.”
Joining Rondo in the opening night starting lineup will be Avery Bradley, Jeff Green, Jared Sullinger and Kelly Olynyk.