The Los Angeles Lakers announced Rajon Rondo sustained a fracture to his right thumb and will undergo surgery this week. He is expected to return to full basketball activities in six to eight weeks.
That timeline puts the veteran point guard out at least until the end of the first round or beginning of the second round of the NBA Playoffs. The postseason begins Aug. 17, which is five weeks from Monday.
Rondo suffered the injury Sunday night during the Lakers’ second practice as a team in Orlando. L.A. arrived at Walt Disney World on Thursday and began the process of quarantining prior to receiving clearance for team activities.
Concern over potential injuries was expressed by Lakers head coach Frank Vogel and others throughout the league. However, with players coming off a fourth-month hiatus, the bulk of that was related to possible soft tissue injuries.
While Vogel remains mindful of proceeding with caution during practices leading up to scrimmages and seeding games, he also planned to push the Lakers in a safe manner. “The plan is that we’re beginning a marathon and we want to take it slow and at the right pace,” Vogel said Sunday.
“We have a lot of time to get guys ready. What I was trying to get accomplished (during first team practice) was to re-introduce their body to movements they probably haven’t done for four months: defensive slides, get their lateral muscles working, 94-feet sprinting and a lot of contact. All in short doses.
“Again, just to sort of re-introduce their bodies to it and begin to re-teach our fundamentals and habits. We had a good first day.”
Without Rondo, the Lakers presumably will turn to Alex Caruso and Dion Waiters more than they already planned to in order to replace Avery Bradley.
Rondo’s recent history of hand injuries
Rondo’s fracture represents a fourth injury to his right hand since signing with the Lakers. He twice underwent surgery during the 2018-19 season due to separate hand injuries.
The first came in November 2018, when Rondo had surgery to repair the fracture of the third metacarpal on his right hand. He returned five weeks later, only to play in three games before sustaining a sprained right ring finger.
Lingering pain and swelling led to Rondo having surgery to repair a torn ligament that was a result of the Grade 3 sprain. Then in January of this year, Rondo missed a brief stretch because of a non-displaced volar plate avulsion fracture to his right ring finger.
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