After going 1-3 on a road trip in which they didn’t have Brandon Ingram (sprained ankle) and Rajon Rondo (hand surgery), plus JaVale McGee (flu-like symptoms) for the final two games, the Los Angeles Lakers returned home hoping to receive reinforcements.
Ingram and Rondo were both assigned to South Bay on a rehab assignment this week so that they could practice with the Lakers’ G League affiliate. They were recalled by the team and practiced in full on Thursday.
While Rondo got through the day without any setbacks, he’s not yet certain of returning to the court Friday night against the New Orleans Pelicans. “It felt fine,” Rondo said following practice.
“Range of motion is all there. It’s not swollen anymore. Just going to take it a day at a time and see how it reacts when I wake up in the morning. Still undecided (on playing Friday).”
He suffered the injury in the fourth quarter of a Nov. 14 win against the Portland Trail Blazers. Rondo underwent surgery the following day to repair the fractured the third metacarpal on his right hand and was projected to miss four to five weeks.
He quickly returned to the court, though initially was limited to teaching and making left-handed passes to teammates. Rondo steadily increased his level of activity but hit a snag last week when swelling required his hand to be drained. That required three days of no activity.
Whether Friday, Sunday, or perhaps the Christmas Day matchup with the Golden State Warriors, Rondo’s return should help stabilize a bench unit that had begun to find its rhythm before the injury.