The Los Angeles Lakers announced Rajon Rondo underwent successful surgery on Thursday to repair the fracture of the third metacarpal on his right hand. He’s projected to miss four to five weeks.
Rondo suffered the injury in the fourth quarter of Wednesday’s win against the Portland Trail Blazers. Lakers head coach Luke Walton said the belief was Rondo sustained the injury when he stole the ball from Jusuf Nurkić with around 8 minutes remaining in the fourth quarter.
However, replay of another sequence roughly one minute later in which Rondo slipped and regained his balance, show him flexing his right hand at that moment.
Regardless of the details behind the injury, the Lakers now face the prospect of not having a veteran presence on the court or a clear-cut backup to Lonzo Ball for at least the next month.
“It will be a work in progress. Obviously, we can’t replace what Rondo does for our team and how important he is to our team,” Walton said of moving ahead without Rondo. “But we’re not going to make excuses. That’s not who we are as a group.
“We’re going to step up and guys are going to pick up the slack and add to their responsibility. As a group we’ll do our best to continue to play the way that we’ve started to play.”
Walton added that Rondo will travel with the team once he’s medically cleared to do so. The concern as of Wednesday afternoon was joining the Lakers on a flight would cause additional swelling in his right hand.
“We want him around as much as possible,” Walton said. “Whenever the doctors clear him to travel without the risk of the inflammation that comes when you fly, he’ll be with our group.”