Boston Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge confirmed the worst-kept secret in the NBA: Barring any setback, Rajon Rondo will make his 2013-14 season debut on Friday night against the Los Angeles Lakers. While the Celtics have been coy, all indications have been that Rondo would return Friday. Rondo hinted at Friday's return earlier this week on Twitter by offering the time (in seconds) between his surgery and Friday's tipoff. His teammates have been careful in what they say about his return, but have often hinted at the Friday return as well. Speaking with reporters on Thursday at the team's practice facility, Ainge noted, "Barring any setbacks, I think [Rondo is] planning on playing tomorrow." So what does Ainge expect from Rondo after nearly 12 full months off the court? "I'm not sure. He hasn't played for a year," said Ainge. "What I've seen throughout my professional basketball career is that the ACL injury is something that every player has to overcome and coming back mentally, not just physically. I anticipate some adjustments and just getting used to playing and feeling confident and returning to the player that he was. "And I think he will get there, and I don't know how long it will take, if that means a week or a month or what. He has to get back out on the court and he has to try it, and now is as good a time as any." Rondo will be thrust back into the starting lineup immediately, but both Ainge and coach Brad Stevens said he will have a minute restriction, likely playing five-minute bursts aimed at allowing him to go full throttle during his initially limited floor time.
Rajon Rondo to return Friday
ESPN Boston | Jan 16