Update: The Lakers announced that Rondo had successful surgery on his broken right hand on Thursday, and that he will miss 4-5 weeks. Original story follows.
After suffering a broken hand against the Portland Trail Blazers on Wednesday, Los Angeles Lakers guard Rajon Rondo will undergo surgery to repair a fractured third metacarpal in his right hand within the next 24 hours, according to Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN. He is expected to miss three-to-five weeks, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
Despite injuring his hand, Rondo was at the Lakers’ practice on Thursday. While he obviously couldn’t practice, head coach Luke Walton said he was being the same vocal leader he’s been all season long.
Luke Walton was pleased that Rondo was helping out with his voice today in practice: “He was talking. Surprise, surprise, he was talking.”— Kyle Goon (@kylegoon) November 15, 2018
Rondo has been a net positive (+2.1 BPM) for the Lakers in his first 11 games but the team will miss his vocal leadership on the court arguably more than anything else. Following the game on Wednesday, Lonzo Ball talked about how much the Lakers are going to miss having him in their ears.
“He’s a true leader, a coach on the floor,” Ball said. “He knows all the plays, knows where everybody is supposed to be so it’s going to be tough having him out but we wish him a speedy recovery and we can’t wait to have him back.”
However, his impact on the floor statistically can’t be discounted either.
Through 11 games for the Lakers, Rondo is averaging 8.5 points on a career-high 42.9 percent shooting from behind the 3-point line to go along with 4.5 rebounds, 6.5 assists and 1.2 steals. Rondo also has a team-high assist percentage of 32.4 percent.
Outside of Ball, the Lakers don’t have a pure playmaking point guard so Walton will have to get creative to replace his production, especially if he’s out the full five weeks. Luckily, Walton has already had to manage without Rondo this season, so hopefully he has an idea of how the team can compensate for his absence.
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