Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce Caution Rajon Rondo on Knee Injury

by July 22, 2013

Boston Celtics GM Danny Ainge recently told the media that he expects point guard Rajon Rondo to suit up on Opening Night. Rajon’s former teammates, Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce, advise Rondo to be careful returning from a devastating knee injury so quickly. Per ESPN: “Right now, he’s injured, and I told him this is probably going to be the toughest year of your whole career, mentally and physically,’ Pierce said. ‘Physically, you’re dealing with an injury. Mentally, you know nothing but winning since you came into the league… You may be put in a situation where you may not win a lot of games. You have to be a leader now; you know me and Kev are not there anymore. You have to go through these times. I’ve been through them. I explained to him how I went through it. I feel like, I’m one of the best players in the league and now… [Rondo is] going to be in that situation for maybe one year or two years, who knows? But you have to be mentally prepared for it, and that’s some of the things we talked about.’ Pierce might simply have been speculating, but he had noted earlier Thursday that Rondo is ‘probably not going to be back until probably December, January, who knows?’ That’d be a change of plans considering that Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge has suggested that the team and the player have eyed a return for the start of the season. That’s something Ainge echoed earlier this month while noting that the team and training staff were encouraged with Rondo’s rehab thus far. Ainge did admit that the team might have to take it slow with Rondo during training camp starting in late September, but said being ready for opening night in late October was a reasonable goal. That’s still an aggressive timeline considering Rondo had surgery in February and would be little more than eight months removed from surgery for that partially torn ACL by opening night. Pierce and Garnett hinted that they have suggested to Rondo to take it slow, maybe noting that there’s little rush to get back for a team in transition. But after Rondo had to sit out the final three months of the 2012-13 season, it’s going to be hard to keep him pinned down. Even if it might help Boston’s rebuilding process to lose games and deliver a higher draft pick, players and coaches have been adamant this offseason that the team will not tank. Returning veterans have defiantly suggested that they believe the Celtics can still contend with the talent coming back.”