WALTHAM, Mass. -- Boston Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo deemed himself 79 percent likely to play in Wednesday's season-opener while suggesting his comfort with drawing contact is likely to dictate whether he suits up against the Brooklyn Nets.
Rondo, rehabbing from a broken hand, returned to full-contact activities last week and said two more days of practice this week could help determine his status for Wednesday's opener. Rondo was wearing the green jersey typically associated with the team's starters as he went through conditioning drills during the portion of practice open to the media on Monday.
"I’m optimistic," said Rondo. "I’m going to get probably another X-ray today and we’ll see how it goes in practice today. Just taking it one day at a time. I don’t think Wednesday is realistic, but a lot of rest and more treatment, you never know."
Rondo, a noted fan of numbers and percentages, was asked if he could put a number on his likelihood of playing on Wednesday.
"Probably 79 [percent] right now," said Rondo. "That's pretty high. I mean, I feel good. It's just contact is a completely different thing. If I land on it or if I get taken out of the air and have to brace myself, it's still different, so I don’t know yet.”
Rondo said his hand got bent back at times during Friday's practice and even got snagged in a jersey. "It scared me a little bit," Rondo quipped.
Celtics coach Brad Stevens classified Rondo as "questionable" for Wednesday's game, but admitted he's making encouraging strides.
"He’ll go full again [Monday] and I think he’s going to re-see the doctors [Tuesday or] maybe Wednesday morning, then it’s going to be about how he feels," said Stevens. "If he goes through the next couple of days without pain and he feels really good and the doctors give him clearance, then he’ll be good to go, but there’s a lot of ifs there. So I’d still say he’s somewhere in the realm of questionable, but all signs have been moving forward."
Asked if Rondo still needs any sort of medical clearance, Stevens added: "I think they feel good about where he is and what he’s done or obviously they wouldn’t have allowed him to practice full if they didn’t feel good about his healing. It’s more about, has he had any issues with it? We’re going to practice for two more days, so we’ll see how he feels after today and we’ll see how he feels after [Tuesday]."
Stevens said that, regardless of when Rondo ultimately returns to game action, he'll play him in shorter bursts while keeping his minute total high. Stevens said the team learned a bit from how it reintegrated him last season coming back from an ACL tear.
"If I had to do it over again, I probably wouldn’t have thrown him to the wolves the way that we broke up his 20 minutes last year," said Stevens. "Just because it’s really hard to come from not playing to playing. I’ll probably look more at a 4- or 5-minute stints at a time, then shorter rests, and right back in. I think you can also get a little tight if you sit for too long.
"I’m encouraged by where he is. The challenge for him is not only -- when he is available -- to play well, but to help keep our defense where it is and to make sure that offensively we’re getting into spots as quickly as possible."