Rajon Rondo returns to practice

WALTHAM, Mass. -- Boston Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo said he had hoped to make it to the All-Star break in February before having screws removed from his surgically repaired left hand, but lingering discomfort led to him begrudgingly undergoing the procedure this past weekend.

Rondo returned to the practice court Tuesday and was a full participant in Boston's off-day session. He will start Wednesday's home game against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

"[The hand is] a little sore, but nothing I can't play with," Rondo said.

Rondo detailed how the screws, which were inserted in late September after he suffered a fracture of the third metacarpal, were irritating him recently. He was undergoing weekly X-rays to monitor their status. Rondo said that, at halftime of Friday's win over the Indiana Pacers, team physician Brian McKeon and president of basketball operations Danny Ainge decided Rondo should undergo the procedure to remove them Saturday, given that Boston had three days off coming up after Saturday's game in Chicago.

Rondo, who missed considerable time in recent seasons while rehabbing from ACL surgery, lobbied to play Saturday, but lost that battle.

"I just wanted to go, travel with my team and play in Chicago," he said. Later he added: "I thought we'd have the day off Sunday anyway, and I thought I could do it Sunday. But they make those decisions."

Rondo said he watched Saturday's game from home, joking, "I woke up really relaxed [from the surgery]. They gave me some good stuff. And I watched the game later on that night."

Rondo did some post-practice shooting without a wrap on his hand and did not seem hindered in any way from Saturday's procedure.

"From everything I gather, it was a quick in-and-out [procedure], as far as getting into his hand, taking the screws out, and [the medical staff] anticipated him being back and full-go by [Tuesday] and he was," coach Brad Stevens said. "No issues."

Rondo admitted it's still too soon to know exactly how the hand will respond to resuming basketball activities.

"It's too early to tell," Rondo said. "It's only been one day really that I've practiced, and it's today, so I'll see how my hand reacts tonight with the swelling."