Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports reported Saturday night that while Rondo went through an off-day workout to prepare for a Sunday night return, "he is not expected to make his debut" when the Lakers square off against the defending champions.
Injuries have been a storyline for Rondo during his tenure with the Lakers. He's missed the team's first eight games of the season while dealing with calf soreness, an injury that limited him in the preseason, and he played in just 46 games last season after fracturing the third metacarpal on his right hand in Nov. 2018.
The 33-year-old offered a mixed bag when he was available, averaging 9.2 points, 8.0 assists, 5.3 rebounds and 1.2 steals in 29.8 minutes per game. He shot 40.5 percent from the field and 35.9 percent from three, hurting the team's floor spacing, and the team's defensive rating was a woeful 113.3 with him on the court compared to 105.8 when he sat.
But with the Lakers moving on from Lonzo Ball in the Anthony Davis trade and not addressing the point guard position beyond adding Quinn Cook, it was clear that Rondo would need to play a big role once he re-signed with the team.
While LeBron James naturally takes on a lot of the ball-handling and playmaking duties, Rondo gives the team a veteran option to run the offense when James sits. Head coach Frank Vogel said that would be the plan before the season started in early October.
"To me, it's gonna be important to make sure that we stagger (Rajon) Rondo and LeBron, too, and let each of them have their turn running the show and being the primary ball-handler our there," he said, per Anthony Irwin of Silver Screen and Roll. "Obviously they'll play a ton together as well, but staggering those guys is on my mind."
Whenever Rondo is out of action, Cook and Avery Bradley see their roles expand at the point.