Los Angeles Lakers point guard Rajon Rondo underwent surgery Wednesday to repair the fracture in his right thumb and is expected to miss six to eight weeks as he recovers..
The timeline puts Rondo’s potential return for the second round of the playoffs. Lakers head coach Frank Vogel should be able to get the team through scrimmages, seeding games, and the first round without Rondo, but they could need him in later rounds.
Not only will Rondo be away from games, he left the bubble altogether for the operation. Vogel believed it would be better for him to complete the surgery and the beginning of rehab away from the team.
“I personally want him to just exhale a little bit and just focus on the mindset of having to leave the bubble, get surgery and go through the rehabilitation process,” Vogel explained.
“He’s actually going to leave the bubble to have surgery and will do at least the preliminary part of his rehab outside the bubble.”
When asked how Rondo got hurt in the first place, Vogel couldn’t pinpoint the sequence. “He’s not sure exactly how it happened. He just reported as he was playing it just started hurting a more and more,” he said.
“He got to a break and asked to go over and have the trainers looked at it, because he was concerned something had happened. But he was not sure exactly what play it happened on.”
Vogel is likely right that it will be best for Rondo to complete much of the rehab process outside of the bubble. That way he’ll be able to be at home and get better and more focused care. Trainers within the bubble likely have so much on their plate already.
Rondo has been the Lakers go-to ballhandler this season when LeBron James is on the bench, even if he has not consistently met expectations. While his skillset is still valuable for the team, Alex Caruso, Dion Waiters and JR Smith will likely be able to fill his shoes in Rondo’s absence.
Rondo’s experience, persona of ‘Playoff Rondo’ and conditioning nonetheless had the Lakers bullish. “He did show up in very good shape. We were all very impressed with how his body looked,” Vogel said.
“We put those guys through rigorous 1-on-0 workouts when we were only allowed to do individual work, and Rondo got through those very, very well. It was clear he worked is tail off during the quarantine to stay in great shape, so we were happy with that.”
Rondo adds yet another surgery to growing list of hand issues
This thumb fracture is Rondo’s fourth hand injury since signing with the Lakers in the summer of 2018. The 2018-19 season saw Rondo need two separate surgeries for various hand injuries.
In November of 2018, Rondo required surgery to fix a fracture in the third metacarpal on his right hand. He then returned in December only to sprain a different finger on Christmas Day.
He ended up needing surgery for that as well due to lingering issues, and once again missed time because of a displaced volar plate avulsion fracture in that same finger in January of this season.
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