The Boston Celtics have done just fine without Rajon Rondo, but that isn't stopping speculation that the star point guard may come back sooner than anyone expected. Rondo's agent, Bill Duffy, told A. Sherrod Blakely of Comcast SportsNet Thursday night that the Celtics guard's injury is only a partial ACL tear, which has been cause for optimism in his camp.
"It's still too early to tell for sure," Duffy said (per CSNNE.com). "But we are very optimistic about his return now that we know his injury is only a partial tear and not a full tear."
UPDATE: Friday, Feb. 8, at 7:13 a.m. ET by Brandon Galvin
Rajon Rondo is expected to miss six months following knee surgery, according to Yahoo! Sports' Marc J. Spears.
---End of update---
Rondo was thought to have completely torn his anterior cruciate ligament against the Atlanta Hawks on Jan. 25. He was a late scratch for the Celtics' following contest against the Miami Heat, after which the team announced he would be out for the season.
Voted an Eastern Conference All-Star starter, Rondo was in the midst of his finest professional season. He was tied for his career high in points, 13.7 per contest, while dishing out 11.1 assists and grabbing 5.6 rebounds a night. With the Celtics' season sinking in the games prior to his injury, some believed Rondo's absence could cause Boston to miss the playoffs.
If the first six games of his absence are any indication, that won't be happening. The Celtics have won each of those contests in Rondo's stead after Thursday night's drubbing of the Los Angeles Lakers. They have seemingly reinvented themselves on the fly, with Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce playing better than they have all season.
That continues a trend of the two Boston elders playing better without Rondo throughout 2012-13, per Grantland's Zach Lowe. But if Rondo winds up being cleared for an early return, don't expect any complaints from the Celtics. It was Rondo's utter brilliance that helped propel Boston to a seven-game series against Miami in the 2012 Eastern Conference Finals, and it's unlikely they could win a championship without him at 100 percent next season.
Rondo's injury was initially thought to end the Celtics' championship window. His possible return may just be enough to keep that window cracked for one last season.