Lakers News: Rajon Rondo Dribbling After Hand Surgery, Can Travel with Team

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistJanuary 14, 2019

Los Angeles Lakers guard Rajon Rondo, left, handles the ball while under pressure by Los Angeles Clippers guard Avery Bradley during the second half of an NBA preseason basketball game in Anaheim, Calif., Saturday, Oct. 6, 2018. The Clippers won 103-87. (AP Photo/Kelvin Kuo)
Kelvin Kuo/Associated Press

Rajon Rondo hasn't taken the floor for the Los Angeles Lakers since a Christmas Day victory over the Golden State Warriors, but that may be about to change.

According to Ryan Ward of Clutch Points, the point guard "is getting closer to his return" following hand surgery. Ward noted he is dribbling with the hand and was also medically cleared to travel.

Rondo missed 17 games with a broken hand following a Nov. 14 win over the Portland Trail Blazers but came back for three contests in December before missing the last 10.

The Lakers have struggled without him, going 3-7 in the last 10 games and plummeting to the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference standings. They are tied with the Utah Jazz and just a half-game ahead of the Sacramento Kings in the race for the bottom seed in the playoff picture.

While Rondo is a four-time All-Star and veteran presence for a Lakers team that is reliant on a young core, it should be noted his absence is not the primary reason for the recent struggles. LeBron James suffered a groin injury in that Christmas game against the Warriors and hasn't played since.

Rondo has appeared in 14 games this season and is averaging 8.4 points, 6.7 assists and 4.4 rebounds a night while shooting 45 percent from the field and 35.7 percent from three-point range.

Los Angeles has been better with him on the floor, sporting a net rating of 4.2 compared to 0.4 when he's off it, per NBA.com.

His return will bolster the backcourt depth and provide a playoff-tested contributor and veteran presence for Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma and Josh Hart to lean on down the stretch.

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