Let's pump the breaks on the Rondo return

Videos of Rajon Rondo playing 1-on-1 against MarShon Brooks surfaced this week and the internet responded in kind by launching into a full on 1-guard frenzy. On the heels of another sidelining injury to Derrick Rose and trade discussion continuing to swirl around the Celtics' All-Star, the NBA at large is acting like he is back on the court. As Brad Stevens is quick to remind us, Rondo is improving, but far from returning.

“Even if it’s 100 percent, there aren’t other bodies on the floor,” coach Brad Stevens said of Rondo’s level of activity. “He’s been playing a little bit of one-on-one before games, but I haven’t seen a lot that would say he’s close to ready. I haven’t seen a timeline, or heard about anything in the near future.”

Could be a hint of spin, could be legit. Either way, Rajon Rondo will not be starting tonight against the Grizzlies.

His brothers-in-arms are all excited to see Rondo back on the floor, they are being cautiously optimistic, and with good reason. While the system is designed to easy fit Rajon Rondo, it's not designed to solely run on Rajon Rondo.

“He still has his quickness — he can still finish with either hand,” forward Jared Sullinger said. “Rondo is Rondo, and when that knee gets healthy, look out.”

Said forward Gerald Wallace: “He seems to be moving better. His confidence is a lot better in his leg. We don’t want him to rush it or mentally come back when he’s not prepared. We want him to come back when he’s ready.”

“It will be interesting. The main thing for us is how he fits in with us and the way we’ve been playing,” Wallace said. “What can he and can’t he do, mentally, with his knee? We don’t expect him to come back in the first game as the All-Star Rondo. We want him to take his time, and work himself back into the game and slowly become the player that he’s always been.”

One thing is for sure, Rajon Rondo will be back this season. What side of the season- 2013 or 2014- remains to be seen. Given the amount of injuries sweeping the league this season and the pending influx of talent coming from the 2014 NBA draft, no one wants Rondo to rush back. The championship window for the 2013-14 Celtics is most likely closed... the goal right now is to not paint it shut.

Follow Padraic O'Connor on Twitter @padraic_oconnor

Source: Mark Murphy; Boston Herald

Photo: Christopher Evans