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Celtics G Rondo close to return after quick trip to D-League

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BOSTON (AP)

Rajon Rondo took a step toward returning to action on Wednesday, working out with members of Boston's NBA Development League team at the Celtics' practice facility.

Celtics spokesman Brian Olive said the closed workout of unknown duration took place in Waltham, Mass.

Rondo has been out for nearly a year. He was not available for comment.

The Celtics had lost nine in a row going into Wednesday night's game against the Toronto Raptors at the TD Garden, but Rondo was not expected to play. The four-time All-Star hasn't played since tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee last Jan. 25, and he has been hinting that he would like to return for Friday night's game against the Los Angeles Lakers.

Olive said any decision on Rondo's return would be up to him and coach Brad Stevens. The coach said this week that Rondo would be put through some physical workouts to make sure he is ready, but ultimately it would be up to the doctors and trainers and Rondo.

One of those workouts was on Wednesday, when the Celtics announced at 12:26 p.m. that he had been assigned to the Maine Red Claws of the Development League and then announced at 2:19 p.m. that he had been recalled.

"Rajon is progressing terrifically in his rehab and this is the next step," general manager Danny Ainge said. "This is a brief assignment so that Rajon can participate in a workout this afternoon with the Red Claws and he will be called back up to the Celtics upon the conclusion of the workout."

In his last availability, on Friday, Rondo said he hoped to make his season debut before the All-Star break; Boston's last game before the break is Feb. 12. But on Tuesday he sent a tweet saying, "29,233,380 secs" -- an apparent reference to the amount of time between his surgery and Friday night's game against the Lakers.

The Celtics had lost 12 of 13 heading into Wednesday night's game.

Tagged: Celtics, Rajon Rondo

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