Lakers News: Rajon Rondo Without Timetable to Return from Thumb Injury

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistAugust 17, 2020

Los Angeles Lakers guard Rajon Rondo (9) during an NBA basketball game against the Golden State Warriors in San Francisco, Thursday, Feb. 27, 2020. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
Jeff Chiu/Associated Press

Los Angeles Lakers point guard Rajon Rondo is scheduled to clear quarantine at Walt Disney World Resort on Monday, but he may not be available to play any time in the near future.

"I'm not sure exactly when he's going to be available to be in uniform," head coach Frank Vogel told reporters. "We'll get him on the court and see where he's at. But no specific timetable yet on him."

ESPN's Dave McMenamin explained the Lakers learned Rondo fractured his right thumb five weeks ago.

He left the bubble to undergo surgery and was required to undergo a four-day quarantine after having negative COVID-19 tests for seven days. What's more, the Lakers initially estimated Rondo would not be able to participate in basketball activities for six to eight weeks.

Rondo, who averaged 7.1 points, 5.0 assists and 3.0 rebounds per game this season, is nowhere near the prime contributor he was early in his career as a four-time All-Star, three-time assist champion, four-time All-Defensive selection and 2007-08 champion (Boston Celtics), but he would have been important for the Lakers in the first round.

That is because they are playing the Portland Trail Blazers and need all the backcourt defensive help they can get against Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum.

Lillard averaged 37.6 points and 9.6 assists while shooting 43.6 percent from deep during Portland's eight seeding games and dropped 51 points against the Philadelphia 76ers and 61 points against the Dallas Mavericks.

He has been the league's best player since the season restarted in Florida and figures to pose a problem against a Lakers defense that won't have Rondo or Avery Bradley.

It isn't difficult to envision a scenario where LeBron James has to guard Lillard for stretches, which could take away from his ability to carry the offense on the other side of the floor.

While the Lakers won't have Rondo on the floor in the first round, big man Anthony Davis said he will "be there helping us out, so that's a good sign." McMenamin noted Vogel said Rondo has been monitoring Lakers' practices on a video feed and has participated in coaches' meetings, so he could serve as a veteran mentor while he waits to return to the court.