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Rajon Rondo targeting return on January 17th versus the Los Angeles Lakers

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Elsa

Marc Spears of Yahoo Sports apparently has the inside scoop on when Rajon Rondo is set to return to the court for the Boston Celtics. His sources say that Boston's injured point guard is aiming to return on January 17th versus the Los Angeles Lakers.

That's only one week and five games from tonight, which means his return is close. It appears Rondo does have a set date in mind, even though he toyed with the media earlier today, telling reporters that he won't be back for January 26th's game against the Nets, but he could be "before or after."

Rajon Rondo's target date for return - Yahoo Sports
Rondo had initially considered a rehab assignment with the Maine Red Claws, the Celtics' D-League affiliate. A possible return against the Lakers gives him another week to improve his conditioning.

"I feel like I'm ready now, but I'm not in shape," he said. "I can go out there and I can give the team 10 minutes. I want to be productive out there. I don't want to limp or drag behind because of my cardio. That would be hurting the team.

"I don't want to be selfish and go out there and not be able to go up and down every possession and give it all I got. That's what I can't do right now."

If Rondo returns on the 17th versus the Kobe Bryant-less Lakers, he'll face a mixed bag of opponents before the huge January 26th reunion against Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett.

After the Lakers game, the Celtics will have three games on the road against Orlando, Miami, and Washington, before returning home for a two-game homestand against Oklahoma City and Brooklyn.

If you haven't done so already, start the countdown for the return of Rajon Rondo.