Lakers News: Rajon Rondo Cleared for Return to Full Practice After Finger Injury

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistJanuary 18, 2019

OAKLAND, CA - DECEMBER 25:  Rajon Rondo #9 of the Los Angeles Lakers warms up prior to the start of an NBA basketball game against the Golden State Warriors at ORACLE Arena on December 25, 2018 in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Los Angeles Lakers point guard Rajon Rondo has been cleared by the team's medical staff to return to full-contact practice, the team announced on Friday.

Spectrum SportsNet's Mike Bresnahan added that Rondo is likely to return to game action next week. The veteran guard has been sidelined since Dec. 27 with a sprained right finger, missing the last 12 games. Los Angeles is 5-7 during that span.

Rondo has been sidelined on a number of occasions since signing a one-year deal with Los Angeles during the offseason. He was suspended for three games in October for his role in an on-court brawl with the Houston Rockets, and he missed more than a month near the end of 2018 due to a broken right hand.

Overall, the four-time All-Star has appeared in just 14 games this season, averaging 8.4 points, 6.7 assists and 4.4 rebounds per contest.

Rondo required surgery back on Dec. 28 after being diagnosed with a Grade 3 sprain to his right ring finger. His initial recovery timetable was placed at four to five weeks. Friday marked three weeks since he went under the knife.

Recently, the veteran point guard made it clear that both he and LeBron James (strained groin, also last played on Christmas Day) are doing their best to get back on the court as soon as possible.

"We're both antsy to get back," Rondo told The Athletic's Joe Vardon. "I'm actually trying to beat him back, so, but like I said patience is key. ... Hopefully I'll be back before Black History Month (which is February). Think that’s about five weeks for me."

It appears as though Rondo is on track to beat his timeline.

With Rondo shelved, second-year point guard Lonzo Ball has been tasked with a bigger role at the point. Getting Rondo back would give Lakers coach Luke Walton depth to work with as well as a playmaker on both ends of the court.

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