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Rajon Rondo Taking Rose Approach After ACL Injury

The Boston Celtics point guard says he won't return to the court until he feels mentally ready

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Boston Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo suffered a partial ACL tear in late January of this year and underwent reparative surgery on Valentine's Day. On Monday, the Celtics held their annual media day session and much like media day for Derrick Rose last year, the questions for Rondo centered on when he thought he might be able to return to the court.

Rondo seems to have adopted the Rose approach, electing not to rush himself back to action until he feels completely healthy, both physically and mentally. He has been taking part in basketball-related activities, but until the five-time All-Star feels fully confident in his knee, he won’t consider taking the court again.

"When I'm mentally ready, I'll play," Rondo told ESPN on Monday “Until you go through this type of injury -- a lot of people gave Derrick Rose a lot of heat about not playing, or whatever the case may be -- this injury isn't easy. It's more mental when you come back, and you get around 10-11 months, it's just feeling confident. You want to feel confident, especially the type of players and competitors we are.”

Rondo suffered the injury Jan. 25 against the Atlanta Hawks. He was expecting to play in the Celtics next contest against the Miami Heat, but a consultation with the team doctor resulted in an MRI that later revealed the tear.

“He won't be ready [Tuesday for the start of camp]. He'll be on the court. He'll be with the team. He'll be running through all of our non-contact things,” said Celtics General Manager Danny Ainge. “He's working out once, twice most days. He's doing therapy. His weak leg is getting stronger. He's doing what he can, and I've been very impressed with his work. I think he'll be back sometime during the season."

As with Rose, no one in the Boston organization is giving a definite return date for Rondo, and the point guard suggests that no one should ever underestimate how important healthy legs are to an athlete; especially those whose game is speed and quickness on the basketball court.

“Our legs are pretty much everything,” Rondo said. “We use our speed; [Rose is] very athletic, I'm athletic. And you need that mental aspect to go up and jump and come down without thinking about your leg again. Because the last jump, for myself and him, we've come down and torn our ACL."

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