The team was on its last leg trying to hold on to relevance, and losing its star point guard was a punch to the gut. They fought until the end, but it became clear that the Celtics needed Rondo to compete with the best.
As we've seen, ACL injuries treat every athlete differently. Derrick Rose sat out for an entire season, to much criticism, in an effort to get healthy. Adrian Peterson returned seemingly better than ever. Robert Griffin III recovered quickly, but is still trying to get back to his old self.
If you've followed Rondo throughout his career, you had no doubt that he would fiercely attack the rehab process. Because of the position the team is sitting, however, it's been clear that the Celtics won't rush him back. What's the point? This team isn't going anywhere. He'll return when he's 100%, as he should.
It's been a rough start to the season, but there is finally some good news for the Celtics. According to ESPN Boston, Rondo has finally been cleared to participate in some contract activities. Danny Ainge revealed the pleasant update, although Rondo isn't ready for full-court practice. Baby steps, right?
Celtics fans, rejoice!
Rondo is the franchise player, and Brad Stevens will have a much easier job once he's back on the floor. Although the team certainly doesn't have championship, or even playoff, aspirations, there is plenty of value in being competitive. These young guys will benefit from fighting until the end of every game and learning how to win. Rondo puts them in the position to do so.
Using quick cuts is a huge part of Rondo's game, and his knee will have to be healthy enough for him to be his explosive self. ACL injuries aren't kind to athletic point guards -- right, Derrick Rose?
In the midst of a season that has been filled with losing, it's nice to finally have some good news. Rondo appears to be making significant progress, and it will be great to see him on the floor at some point this season.
Mark lives in the Boston area and has been covering New England sports for various blogs over the past 4 years. He has been featured on Fox Sports Yardbarker, Fox Sports, and Sports Illustrated "Hot Clicks", and has been published on Celtics 24/7, Bleacher Report, and Sports-Kings.
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