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Celtics notebook

Rajon Rondo still working toward Opening Night

Rajon Rondo warmed up prior to Wednesday’s preseason finale against the Nets, and he could be in the lineup for opening night next week — weeks ahead of schedule.Mike Lawrie/Getty Images

WALTHAM — Rajon Rondo took another step closer to returning on opening night Wednesday against the Brooklyn Nets after making it through his first full-contact practice with no setbacks Friday.

Rondo, who has missed all of training camp with a fractured left hand, was cleared for full workouts, and Friday was the Celtics’ first full-contact practice since his clearance. The team will take the weekend off and return Monday, where Rondo could be cleared to return to game action.

The four-time All-Star had surgery to repair a broken metacarpal bone in his left hand Sept. 26 and was expected to miss 8-10 weeks. He might be back in five.


“It will be a matter of how big that [protective] pad is,’’ said Celtics coach Brad Stevens . “That’s the biggest thing moving forward because it’s really about getting hit. Obviously seeing how he feels after this, we got Saturday and Sunday off but Monday, Tuesday, we should know more.”

Rondo took jumpers with sleeves over his middle and ring fingers, but nothing protecting the top of the hand. He was expected to add the protective pad once practice intensified.

“I don’t know what the restrictions are from an NBA standpoint, but I’m sure they’ll work on that appropriately and if he’s able to play, they’ll come up with the right contraption for him to wear,” Stevens said.

Oh, Canada

Steve Nash may never play in the NBA again after the Lakers announced Thursday he will miss the season with a back injury. He played only 15 games last season because of nerve root irritation. Celtics second-year center Kelly Olynyk reflected on perhaps the greatest Canadian basketball player of all time.

Olynyk is part of the resurgence of basketball in Canada, along with fellow Celtic Dwight Powell, Anthony Bennett and Andrew Wiggins of the Timberwolves, Tyler Ennis of the Suns, Andrew Nicholson of the Magic, Cory Joseph of the Spurs, Cleveland’s Tristan Thompson, and Sacramento’s Nik Stauskas.


Nash has been supportive of the Canadian National Team and served as a role model for Olynyk and a generation of Canadian players.

“I can’t thank him enough or say enough about him and what he’s done,” Olynyk said. “He’s a great person, unbelievable player, just his work ethic and his dedication to the game is unbelievable and kind of instilled that in not only me but a lot of other Canadian players throughout the summers with the national team.”

Nash’s development into an NBA All-Star is an impetus for the resurgence of Canadian basketball.

“You can’t even measure it, really,” Olynyk said. “He’s been there the last few summers and any time he’s in the gym, you could tell people are watching or people are taking notes and trying to pick his brain and learn what he’s doing on the court and off the court. He’s the ultimate professional.”

Eddie claimed

The Celtics claimed former Virginia Tech swingman Jarell Eddie off waivers from the Atlanta Hawks on Friday, giving the club a few days to evaluate a player who could potentially land on their NBADL Maine affiliate.

Eddie, 22, is a 6-foot-7-inch, 220-pound small forward who played four seasons with the Hokies, averaging 13.1 points and 4.3 rebounds during his senior season in 2013-14.

Eddie, who went undrafted, was waived by the Hawks this week. The Celtics already have 16 players on their roster — including Will Bynum — so Eddie is likely to be waived before rosters need to be set Monday.


“He’s always a player that’s been intriguing to us,” Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge said. “He obviously won’t learn our stuff that quick but we’ll put him through some workouts after practice [Friday] and just evaluate him. That’s really all it is.”

Roster moves

Ainge said Bynum remains on the roster but likely won’t be when the team has to finalize its 15-man unit. The Celtics will try to trade Bynum, a veteran backup point guard acquired from the Detroit Pistons. He could be a valuable pickup for a team with open roster spots during the next few days. Bynum took his physical but has not been with the club since the Oct. 18 trade . . . The Celtics will take the next two days off before returning to practice Monday in preparation for Wednesday’s opener. That will give Marcus Smart two more days to recover from flu-like symptoms that has caused him to miss the past two days of practice. Smart will start Wednesday if Rondo is not available . . . Stevens said he has a “pretty good idea” of his playing rotations but they are “fluid,” considering the team’s injury situation. While Powell and injured center Vitor Faverani likely are out of the main rotation, that leaves 13 players for 10 spots . . . The Celtics brass, including player personnel director Austin Ainge, traveled to Spain to observe Faverani’s rehabilitation from left knee surgery. He is expected to return to Boston on Thursday and likely is out another two months . . . Walter McCarty, who pleaded not guilty to a larceny charge in Framingham on Thursday, was at practice. McCarty is due in court Dec. 11.


Gary Washburn can be reached at gwashburn@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @GwashburnGlobe.