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Ainge confirms, Rondo set to return Friday against the Lakers

Posted by shawn cassidy on January 16, 2014 at 2:05 PM

I think Danny is late to the party, but he does put his stamp of approval on the return, so it makes that much real. Rondo will be restricted when he comes back, as expected. I can't wait for tomorrow. 

ESPN Boston

Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge confirmed the worst-kept secret in the NBA: Barring a setback after Wednesday's activities, Rajon Rondo will make his 2013-14 season debut on Friday night against the rival Los Angeles Lakers.

While the Celtics have played coy about Rondo's status, all indications have been that Rondo would return Friday. Rondo Tweeted earlier this week hinting at that date by offering the time (in seconds) between his surgery and Friday's tipoff. His teammates have been careful in what they have said about his potential return, but have often hinted at the Friday return as well.

Speaking with reporters on Thursday at the team's practice facility, Ainge noted, "Barring any setbacks, I think [Rondo is] planning on playing tomorrow."

So what does Ainge expect from Rondo after nearly 12 full months off the court?

"I’m not sure. He hasn’t played for a year," said Ainge. "What I’ve seen throughout my professional basketball career is that the ACL injury is something that every player has to overcome and coming back mentally, not just physically. I anticipate some adjustments and just getting used to playing and feeling confident and returning to the player that he was. And I think he will get there, and I don’t know how long it will take, if that means a week or a month or what. He has to get back out on the court and he has to try it, and now is as good a time as any."

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