Celtics all but officially rule out a return by Rajon Rondo for regular-season opener

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For all the offseason change the Celtics endured, from hiring a new coach to overhauling the roster, one aspect of last season’s team almost certainly will be the same when the regular season starts next month.

Rajon Rondo likely will be sidelined — until December, possibly.

The Celtics all but officially ruled out the chance that Rondo, recovering from knee surgery to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament, could return for the team’s Oct. 30 regular-season opener in Toronto, with Danny Ainge saying Tuesday that he’d be “shocked” if Rondo is healthy enough to play by then.

Ainge, the Celtics president of basketball operations, said a timeline remains unclear for Rondo’s return, but he did hint in a radio interview Rondo might not play until December.

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