Boston Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo doesn't have an official date for his return from ACL surgery, but a mysterious tweet may point to Jan. 17 against the Los Angeles Lakers.
Here's a look at the tweet in question:
29,233,380 secs— Rajon Rondo (@RajonRondo) January 14, 2014
Updates from Thursday, Jan. 16
It appears as if Rajon Rondo was correct in his tweet. ESPN's Chris Forsberg reports that Rondo will indeed play on Friday against the Lakers:
Danny Ainge on SportsHub says, barring unforeseen setback today, Rajon Rondo indeed in line to return Friday vs. Lakers.— Chris Forsberg (@ESPNForsberg) January 16, 2014
Thankfully, Forsberg did the math and notes the number in question is the exact amount of seconds between Rondo's surgery and the Celtics' tipoff with the Lakers on Friday night:
Rondo's Tweet referencing 29,233,380 seconds equates to a little more than 338 days, which would be exactly the duration between his ACL surgery on Feb. 13, 2013 and a potential return on Jan. 17, 2014. Heck, Rondo appears to have even calculated the exact differential in time between his surgery that day and tip-off that night (it would have been 11:07 a.m., figuring a 7:30 p.m. tipoff on Friday).
And before you get all skeptical, just know that the 27-year-old only tweets about the important things in life. His last tweet came on Christmas Eve, when he presented a picture of graham crackers and peanut butter.
Of course, while there is very little else a tweet of this nature could mean, it comes at interesting time. On Jan. 10—just three days prior to this tweet—Rondo denied that he would be returning against the Lakers, via The Boston Globe's Baxter Holmes:
Rondo says he has no targeted return date and he denied the report that said he'd return for the Lakers game.— Baxter Holmes (@BaxterHolmes) January 11, 2014
Still, although there was never an official timetable, head coach Brad Stevens did say a return was coming sooner rather than later, via Holmes:
Stevens on Rondo return: "I get the impression it will be sooner rather than later."— Baxter Holmes (@BaxterHolmes) January 13, 2014
For now, it's probably safe to assume that Rondo will be back on Friday night against the Lakers (probably on a minutes limit), and even if he doesn't, his return to the court likely won't be far behind.
It couldn't come at a better time, either.
The Celtics have lost nine in a row, but despite the recent slump, the fact that they sit at 13-26 and the belief they are in a rebuilding year, they remain just three games behind the New York Knicks for a playoff spot in the laughable Eastern Conference.
Are the Celtics a playoff team with Rondo back in the lineup?
Getting a playmaker and defender of Rondo's caliber should provide a tremendous boost.
Rondo, who averaged 13.7 points and an NBA-leading 11.1 assists per game last season before going down with his injury, will replace either Avery Bradley or Jordan Crawford in the starting lineup once he's back to game speed.
Bradley, according to Basketball-Reference.com, has played the majority of his time at the point, but it wouldn't be surprising if he moved over to shooting guard for Rondo, as Crawford's instant-offense skill set is better served off the bench.