Kendrick Perkins now has something else in common with best friend Rajon Rondo: They have both torn an anterior cruciate ligament.
Perkins, the Oklahoma City center and former Celtic, said Tuesday that he has spoken with Rondo and is helping him through a difficult period after the Boston point guard tore his right ACL Jan. 24 against the Atlanta Hawks.
Perkins tore his left ACL while being pulled down by the Lakers’ Andrew Bynum as they chased a rebound during Game 6 of the 2010 NBA Finals. On Jan. 25, 2011, Perkins returned to action, seven months and 10 days after his injury.
“When you hear stuff like that, especially with a close friend, it’s always disturbing,” said Perkins. “So I just wanted to call and make sure that he was all right as far as mentally and just getting ready. Because it takes a focus to go through that process of surgery and the recovery of it.
“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.”
Rondo was selected as an All-Star starter but told Perkins he won’t be attending All-Star Weekend.
“So I’m going to go down there [to Rondo’s home in Kentucky] for a day or two and just go hang out with him,” said Perkins. “Because he probably might have the surgery before then. So just go down there and give him a little comfort.
“We talk every day, so it wasn’t nothing unusual. But when I heard about it, we played that night and then I called him right after the game.”
Perkins went through the rigorous rehabilitation process to return to the court and has continued his productive career. He said he wants to get Rondo prepared for his long road to recovery.
“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. “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 to get back to where he needed to be.”
Perkins said he has advice for Rondo, who is expected to return for Celtics training camp in October.
“Same thing I told [Oklahoma City teammate] Eric Maynor: Whatever you put into it is what you get out of it,” he said. “Like I always say, I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy.
“If you’re worrying about when your return’s going to be, you can’t worry about that. You just got to keep progressing and getting better each day.”