NBA-Celtics' Rondo cleared for practice, January return possible

Reuters

Dec 14 (Reuters) - Boston Celtics All-Star point guard Rajon Rondo has been cleared for full practice and could return to action next month, the team learned on Saturday.

Rondo, sidelined since he hyperextended his right knee in a game against the Atlanta Hawks on Jan. 25, has been recovering from surgery to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament.

"He's not been cleared 100 percent until yesterday for practice, but he has done some stuff where he's been cleared from along the way," Celtics head coach Brad Stevens was quoted as saying on the team's website.

"So he's done more and more, and today he did the most he's done. He won't play in games, is what I've been told, until after the first of the year, and that still is - we're talking in big generalities there.

"I don't know when that means. It could mean a month from now, it could mean six weeks from now. There's a lot of different variables that have to be met for him to be cleared for games."

Rondo, 27, is a four-time All-Star who has led the league in assists for the past two seasons. In his absence, Avery Bradley has been running the point for Boston with Jeff Green and Brandon Bass at the forwards.

Stevens said he had been giving a great deal of thought on how best to ease a rusty Rondo back into the Boston lineup.

"You're thinking about how you're going to not only get him into it, ease him into it, but also how you're going to manage everything around that, because there's a lot of good players that are playing at a high level," Stevens said.

"The key is to continue those guys playing well and add in another very good player."

The Celtics lead the Atlantic Division with an 11-14 record. (Reporting by Mark Lamport-Stokes in Los Angeles; Editing by Gene Cherry)

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