- Chris Forsberg, ESPN Staff Writer
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NEW YORK -- Boston Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo reaffirmed Tuesday that he'll meet with his operating surgeon later this month, but stressed that until he gains clearance to resume full-contact activities, he's not close to a return to game action and is not rushing that process.
Rondo held court with reporters before the Celtics went through a morning shootaround at Baruch College on Tuesday in advance of a tilt with the Brooklyn Nets.
"I’ve been anxious ever since I hurt myself," said Rondo. "It’s a long process. Some days are better than others. But I’m patient and I’m not going to rush."
Rondo tore his ACL in late January and underwent surgery in mid-February. He's still building strength back in his right knee with the goal of gaining clearance for full-contact activities when he sees operating surgeon Dr. James Andrews in Florida later this month.
Rondo has been able to walk through Boston's noncontact drills during light workouts and has played games of one-on-one and two-on-two with teammates, but stressed that can't prepare him for the rigors of actual game action.
"I haven’t done anything," said Rondo. "I haven’t played up-and-down, side-to-side; right now I’m doing drills, it’s not a big deal."
He added, "I’m confident, but like I said, I haven’t practiced or anything so it’s hard to say. [Games of] one-on-one [are] different from actually going through picks and hitting the floor, playing 5-on-5, getting back in transition, making the quick moves without thinking about it. I haven’t done any of that."
Rondo stressed that he's feeling good and is happy with his progress. With the Celtics playing well -- 6-2 in their last eight games and sitting atop the Atlantic Division -- Rondo said he is eager to get back on the court with his teammates and is excited by the way they're playing. But he has stressed that he needs to be 100 percent ready -- both physically and mentally -- before that will happen.
On his team's success, Rondo noted, "I think now we’re in a good groove; guys are playing for one another, making the extra pass. Defensively, we’re helping a lot more. I think that’s the key to our success right now."
He added, "The way the team is playing now, it’s hard to scout our team because it’s not just one guy doing all the scoring. It’s a collective effort, a group of guys and five or six guys in double figures each night. It’s hard to stop a team like that. Not to compare us, but like the Pacers are a hard team to scout. The way we’re playing right now, we’re in good rhythm."
The Celtics are in the midst of an informal reunion week, playing against former teammates Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett on Tuesday in Brooklyn, before former coach Doc Rivers visits with the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday at TD Garden.
Asked what emotions he'll have when he sees Rivers, Rondo said, "None. I’m not an emotional guy. So I won’t tear up or anything."