Rajon Rondo practiced again with the Celtics on Monday and is slowly returning to basketball shape. However, he could take a pit stop elsewhere in New England before rejoining the C’s. Coach Brad Stevens says his rehabilitation may include a stint with the team’s D-League affiliate, the Maine Red Claws, writes Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe.
Stevens said Rondo likely wouldn’t return to the Celtics during their five-game West Coast road trip beginning on Jan. 5 and could spend time with Maine practicing and playing in D-League games before coming back to the varsity squad. Rondo has not played since Jan. 25 because of a torn right ACL.
“I would make that a decision on him and our staff,” Stevens said following today’s practice. “That is something that has been discussed, probably some positives and negatives to that, but at the end of the day, it is an option as part of his rehabilitation.”
Stevens’ former point guard at Butler, Ronald Nored, is a player development coach in Maine and he and Rondo have discussed the possibility of Rondo spending some time there. Stevens acknowledged that having Nored there to help ease Rondo back in could be a positive.
The Celtics have not used their D-League affiliate for rehabilitation over the past few years and the last regular to see a stint there was Avery Bradley during his rookie season. Stevens says that he envisions the D-League being used more for rehab assignments going forward, similar to how baseball teams use their farm system to bring players back into the fold.