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Rajon Rondo doesn’t rule out opening night return for Celtics

Oklahoma City Thunder v Boston Celtics

BOSTON, MA - JANUARY 24: Rajon Rondo #9 of the Boston Celtics looks on during a game against the Oklahoma City Thunder at the TD Garden on January 24, 2014 in Boston, Massachusetts. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Alex Trautwig/Getty Images)

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Rajon Rondo suffered a fractured hand injury that required surgery, and is slated to sideline him for approximately six-to-eight weeks.

It’s not necessarily important how the injury occurred; Rondo reportedly told the team he slipped in the shower, and that it most certainly did not happen at a trampoline park where he was seen just a couple of days before.

No, what matters most is how quickly he can return to action. And Rondo isn’t giving the doctor’s timetable much credence when discussing when that might take place.


“Hopefully I won’t miss any games this year,” Rondo said in an exclusive interview with CSNNE’s Mike Gorman. “Lord willing I heal correctly and I’ll be back in no time.

“They’re telling me 6-to-8 [weeks]. But that means nothing to me.”

Gorman then asked if Rondo would be a possibility for Opening Night at the end of October.

“Always,” Rondo said.

It’ll be interesting if Rondo declares he’s ready to return before the doctors are willing to sign off on it, for a couple of reasons.

As a player who’s an unrestricted free agent next summer, Rondo obviously wants to play as much as possible, and prove he’s once again an All-Star caliber point guard worthy of a new contract at or near the max. Then we have the Celtics as a team, who aren’t expected to be very good this year and probably wouldn’t mind losing a few extra games to achieve better draft lottery odds, making Rondo’s return to the floor less of a priority from an organizational standpoint.

Finally, we have Rondo as trade bait to consider. Boston needs him to be healthy and perform at a high level to receive reasonable offers for him in advance of February’s trade deadline, in case the Celtics decide that his asking price in free agency would be more than they’re willing to commit as this stage of their rebuilding process.

Suffice to say, there’s plenty that will go into the decision of when exactly Rondo is cleared for a return to action.