Shortly after entering the bubble at Walt Disney World, Los Angeles Lakers point guard Rajon Rondo began feeling pain in his thumb during a practice. With a history of hand injuries, Rondo asked team doctors look at it, and they discovered a fractured thumb in his right hand.
It required surgery and now calls for a rehab process of six to eight weeks. Most of Rondo’s recovery will take place outside of Orlando, to give him a chance to heal without any pressure.
The timeline puts Rondo back on the court at the end of the first round or start of the second round in the playoffs. Before that, the Lakers will have to get through eight seeding games and at least some of the postseason without one of their veteran leaders.
However, Rondo not being in Orlando does not mean he’s checked out. In fact, the Lakers set up live stream that Rondo shared a look at as he was watching the team, via ESPN L.A.:
Rajon Rondo remains locked into Lakers practice after successful right thumb surgery (via @RajonRondo /IG)
— ESPN Los Angeles (@ESPNLosAngeles) July 16, 2020
The video Rondo posted showed a classic Lakers play, with Anthony Davis posting up on what appears to be Jared Dudley. He backs him down before hitting the fade away jumper from about 15 feet out. It has been one of Davis’ favorite shots this season, and it’s unsurprising to see him going back to it.
As for Rondo, when he rejoins the team in six weeks, he’ll want to be as ready as possible to reclaim his spot in the lineup. Otherwise, players like Dion Waiters and Alex Caruso will have no problem taking those minutes, as they’ve been around the team throughout the entire Orlando process.
Rondo — as the team’s secondary ball handler — knows how important it is that he stays in the loop on what the Lakers are doing without him. At minimum it will help him seamlessly fit back into the rotation in the second round of the playoffs.
Rondo leaving bubble for surgery and rehab
Lakers head coach Frank Vogel explained the mindset behind having Rondo leave the bubble for surgery and rehab, something that makes complete sense given the already hectic nature of the bubble.
“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 said of Rondo.
“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.”
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