Since partially tearing his ACL in January, Boston Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo has been relatively quiet.
During the Celtics’ media day on Monday, Rondo opened up about his return.
“When I’m mentally ready, I’ll play,” Rondo told reporters via Chris Forsberg of ESPN Boston. “Until you go through this type of injury — a lot of people gave Derrick Rose a lot of heat about not playing, or whatever the case may be — this injury isn’t easy. It’s more mental when you come back, and you get around 10-11 months, it’s just feeling confident. You want to feel confident, especially the type of players and competitors we are.”
Rondo is participating in basketball activities, but has not been cleared for contact.
Rondo averaged 13.7 points, 11.1 assists, 5.6 rebounds and 1.8 steals per game for the Celtics last season. He shot 48.4% from the field, 24.0% from three and 64.5% from the free throw line.
With swingman Paul Pierce and big man Kevin Garnett now in Brooklyn and head coach Doc Rivers in Los Angeles, new Celtics coach Brad Stevens will need to lean on a veteran like Rondo. The coach and his star player already have a great relationship.
“Me and Brad have become best friends,” Rondo told Forsberg. “We talk every day, we laugh and joke, we just had dinner the other night. I’m going to help him, he’s going to help me. He has my full support, and I told him from day one when he came to my camp [in Louisville for their first meeting in July], I’m 100 percent behind him.”
The Celtics will open training camp Tuesday in Rhode Island.