Celtics don't expect Rajon Rondo to return for opener

Throughout the offseason, it's become more and more evident that the Boston Celtics are preparing to start their new campaign without the face of their franchise, point guard Rajon Rondo. While Rondo will be around the team, he is not expected to return in time for training camp, and President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge told reporters -- including A. Sherrod Blakely of CSN Boston -- that he would be "shocked" if the All-Star is able to return from his torn right ACL injury to start the regular season.

Ainge admitted to reporters that while Rondo is back to where he needs to be mentally regarding the injury, he still "has a ways to go" physically.

"He seems to be in a really good place emotionally, mentally," Ainge said. "Now we just have to get the physical part done. He has a ways to go."
Rondo suffered his injury on Jan. 25. While the extent of the injury was determined two days later, Rondo didn't undergo season-ending surgery until the middle of February.

The surgery shut down Rondo for the 2012-13 campaign, and it brought questions regarding how much time he'd miss this year. Dr. James Andrews, the surgeon that performed the operation, put a timeframe on the recovery that would have Rondo back by the middle of November. Depending on how the upcoming stages of Rondo's rehab go, there's talk that he could remain sidelined into December.

At this point, there's no point for the Celtics to rush Rondo back. Ainge and new had coach Brad Stevens seem to be on the same page when it comes to this, and Boston appears prepared to give Rondo whatever time he requires to return to the court during what will be the start of the rebuilding process.

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