So, when does Rajon Rondo return to the court? Despite the fact that the Boston Celtics' star point guard is coming off a torn-ACL, it seems like all the talk is still about whether Danny Ainge will trade him or not. Before we can even think about something like that, Rondo has to get back on the court to prove that he is still the same player.
Last year Derrick Rose was criticized for not returning for the Chicago Bulls' run in the playoffs, but it's unlikely that Rondo gets that type of heat this year. Why? Well, the Celtics are rebuilding and aren't expected to win. If anything, the Celtics could get accused of tanking if Rondo and the team delay his return.
Rajon Rondo has joked that he's 87 percent healthy and claims that he'll return when he's at 100 percent, so I asked our CelticsBlog team when they think Rajon Rondo will return to the court. For the sake of continuity, let's start with the earliest date and continue in chronological order:
Some time in November. I think he will be back before the December estimates have him returning. It will be a surprise and one night they will just announce him in the starting lineup.
Jeff Clark: Late November
I predicted in my SWAGs that he'll return before December so I'll stick to that even if it is a bit aggressive. I think his competitive nature will win out over caution and he'll enjoy surprising people with a faster than expected return. Of course, he's no dummy and he won't do anything to hinder his future. But if the doctors say he can go and it is just a matter of being comfortable with it, I think he'll go sooner than later.
Josh Zavadil: Late November
Like Jeff said in an earlier post, I predict Rajon returns in late-November. He's always seemed so determined to prove people wrong, to do the exact opposite of what people think he will do, so I can totally see him returning much earlier than people expected.
Jay Asser: Late November
Yes. I'm not one to think that Danny Ainge or the rest of the organization has advised Rondo to delay his return as much as possible. Rondo is smart. He gets the situation. But what he is even more is competitive. He wants to get on the court as soon as possible and start building his own Celtic legacy. I see a late November, early December return.
I was very surprised to see four of our writers predict that Rajon Rondo would possibly return by late November. If Rondo's return slips into December, then 19 games would have already passed.
Tim MacLean: Around December 25th
Personally, I think Rajon Rondo will return around Christmas time. It's hard to gauge things like return dates, especially when it comes to injuries like these (see: Rose, Derrick). However, if there's one thing you can't question about Rondo it's his motor. There's no doubt in my mind that Rondo isn't aching to get back out on the floor with his teammates and his interim "assistant coaching" makes that apparent. But Rondo has stated that he'll know when he's ready to come back and it's ultimately up to him. Besides, I don't see any sense in rushing him back to the action.
Kevin O'Connor: January 2nd
I think November is far too soon for Rajon Rondo to return to the court. He tore his ACL in February, so that would only be about a 9-month recovery. How about December? Eh, if I'm the Celtics, I ask Rondo to stretch it just a little bit more. So, hey, why not January 2nd against the Chicago Bulls? The game is on the road, and oh, it's also against another star point guard that tore his ACL, Derrick Rose. Rajon would make for a perfect gift to start the New Year. And if the Celtics are looking at the draft, 31 games would have already passed at this point. This date just seems perfect to me.
At this point, fans and media around the world will begin to accuse the Boston Celtics of milking Rajon Rondo's injury in their attempts to tank. Whether or not that's the case, I don't know, but I think it's for the best if Rajon sits out until February, like our last two writers predict.
Alex Skillin: Around February 1st
Tough to tell, especially after a similar player in Derrick Rose sat out for a full season with an ACL tear. But Rondo did say earlier this week that he will return this season, so I'm going to guess sometime right around February 1st.
Jack Jemsek: After the All-Star break
I think after the all-star break sounds about right . . .
I'm pretty sure Danny Ainge would love for a late February return, too. But what do you think? You've read our answers, but I want to know when you believe Rajon Rondo will return to the court. I'm also curious to know when you think he should return; should the Celtics hold him out or get him back on the field as soon as possible? Vote in the poll and comment below with your thoughts!