Lakers News: Luke Walton Hopes LeBron James, Rajon Rondo Practice Sunday But Would Remain Unlikely To Play Vs. Warriors
Darrell Ann-LakersNation.com

Just as the Los Angeles Lakers were playing their way toward a signature win this season, a worst-case scenario became a reality when LeBron James suffered an injury. He was unable to return against the Golden State Warriors, but Rajon Rondo helped the Lakers finish their rout.

James was diagnosed with a strained groin, and though there was early optimism he avoided serious injury, general wisdom held he would miss at least a handful of games. Already facing a future without James, the Lakers then lost Rondo to a Grade 3 sprained right ring finger.

Still suffering from pain that prevented him from completing regular basketball actions, Rondo opted for surgery to repair a damaged ligament in the sprained finger. He was projected to miss four to five weeks from the Dec. 28 operation.

He and James have missed the past 13 games (including Sunday against the Houston Rockets), but were both cleared in recent days to return to practice.

According to Bill Oram of The Athletic, Lakers head coach Luke Walton hopes James and Rondo will practice Sunday but that wouldn’t necessarily mean either returns Martin Luther King Jr. Day against the Warriors:

Of the two, Rondo figures to be the first to return. He was cleared to begin dribbling with his right hand and being permitted to participate in a full-contact practice is indicative Rondo has not encountered any sort of setback.

Meanwhile, James’ recovery just recently reached three weeks. A return by this point would have been considered the best-case scenario.

If neither play Monday, the Lakers’ next game after that point is Thursday when they host the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Reminder: Vivid Seats is the Official Ticket Reseller of LakersNation.com. New Customers use “LAKERSNATION” (all CAPS) in the Vivid Seats App on your phone and get 10% off any Lakers home game ticket order for the remainder of the season.

You May Also Like

Lakers Nation Podcast: How Donatas Motiejunas Would Fit In Los Angeles

The Lakers Nation Podcast breaks down how Houston Rockets big man Donatas Motiejunas might fit with the Los Angeles Lakers…

Byron Scott: Jordan Clarkson ‘Won’t Play Much’ Next Season Without Improved Defense

The 2015-16 NBA season has come to an end for the Los Angeles Lakers with Kobe Bryant walking away from the game and a lot of concerns to be addressed heading into the offseason…

Brook Lopez Chooses Julius Randle As ‘NBA Jam’ Teammate, Kyle Kuzma As Quickest To Get ‘On Fire’

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the classic basketball game NBA Jam. For those unaware, NBA Jam was…

Jamaal Wilkes Says Kobe Bryant Can’t ‘Physically’ Carry The Lakers Anymore

Jamaal Wilkes was a key contributor to two Los Angeles Lakers championship…