Rajon Rondo is looking at a long road back from ACL surgery, but he’ll have a familiar face helping him along as he recovers.
Former Celtics teammate Kendrick Perkins, now with the Oklahoma City Thunder, had a similar injury in 2010, when he tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee while playing the Lakers in the NBA Finals. Perkins was back on the court within seven months, and he plans to spend his upcoming days helping Rondo as the Celtics point guard works to get back just as quick.
Perkins said Rondo’s biggest hurdle while rehabbing will be in his head.
“Mentally, he has a hard time with just sitting out and probably not being able to walk for a minute and not being able to run,” Perkins said, according to The Boston Globe. “And just the whole rehab part of it. Mentally, he struggles with things like that. That’s the biggest thing he was concerned about. I don’t think he never really had that type of surgery where it affected him and [forced] him to have to go to rehab and get back to where he needed to be.”
Perkins said he called Rondo soon after he heard of the injury.
“It takes focus to go through that process of surgery and the recovery of it,” he said. “So I just wanted to give him some advice on his health and second opinions and how to go about his rehab and just let him know that I’m here for him.”
Perkins said he plans to go to Rondo’s home in Kentucky, likely during the All-Star break, to give him support beyond their regular phone calls.
Rondo is expected to be back by October, when the Celtics will be getting ready for next season. ACL tears require surgery and several months of rest and rehab, with Bulls point guard Derrick Rose still working his way back from the ACL injury he had in last year’s NBA playoffs.