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Celtics Not Ruling Out Opening Night Return For Rondo

BOSTON (CBS) -- Opening night for the Boston Celtics is just nine days away.

Rajon Rondo still has not been cleared for contact, but that is expected to come later this week. While he won't be suiting up for Boston's preseason finale on Wednesday night, there remains a chance the point guard could play in the season opener on October 29.

"I think it's a possibility," head coach Brad Stevens said Monday at the team's practice, echoing what he said Friday afternoon on 98.5 The Sports Hub's Gresh & Zolak.

"He had a scan on his hand and he's progressing great," Stevens added. "He obviously won't do any contact before the end of the week, but there's a chance that he could be cleared to do some stuff by the end of the week."

Taking part in contact drills would be the next big step for Rondo, but the point guard was a little less optimistic about an opening night return on Monday.

"I don't know. I still haven't had any contact yet," he said. "The opener is a little bit over a week away. I don't want to set goals; I just want to go as my hand heals."

It's been just over three weeks since Rondo underwent surgery on a broken bone in his left hand. His recovery time was expected to be six to eight weeks, but Rondo made it sound on the team's media day that he would back much sooner.

The four-time All Star has been going through non-contact drills and working on his conditioning over the last few weeks, but that's all much different from what he can expect on a nightly basis when the regular season rolls around.

"It doesn't bother me at all when I dribble the ball, catch the ball. But it's night and day from trying to brace myself hitting the floor or going into the lane and somebody smacks my hand," he explained.

For now, we'll wait and see if Rondo will be ready for opening night. At least for now, this discussion is a nice change of pace from all the trade talk that has surrounded the C's point guard for much of the last two years.


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