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Rajon Rondo nears return to Celtics after knee injury; guard assigned to Development League

Rajon Rondo is getting closer to returning to the Boston Celtics.

The Celtics assigned their All-Star point guard to the Maine Red Claws of the NBA Development League on Wednesday. General manager Danny Ainge says Rondo will join the Celtics after his "brief assignment."

Rondo has been out since tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee last Jan. 27. He has been hinting that he would like to return by Friday night's game against the Los Angeles Lakers.