The Los Angeles Lakers could be getting Rajon Rondo back sooner rather than later.
Less than a month after undergoing surgery to repair the fractured third metacarpal in his right hand, Rondo has started doing some contact drills, according to head coach Luke Walton. Rondo was cleared for non-contact activities on Nov. 26.
After practice on Tuesday, Walton said there are still a few things keeping Rondo from game action, but said that the 32-year-old is progressing well.
“He practiced pretty much all of practice today,” Walton said. “He’s still holding back a little bit. You can see when there’s a loose ball, he’ll reach for it with the other hand and then when he gets into contact, he’ll kind of protect it. But he said it’s not from pain, it’s something that any time you’re coming back from injury you have to kind of re-train your brain to just react to what’s happening on the court.”
Walton also noted that Rondo’s teams won a lot of the drills at practice. Despite this, Walton has ruled Rondo out for Wednesday’s game against the San Antonio Spurs. Rondo has missed the last nine games for the Lakers.
The Lakers have managed without their backup point guard, going 6-3 since his injury on Nov. 14, but the games they did lose they feasibly could have won with Rondo’s leadership and playmaking off of the bench.
In 11 games this season, Rondo has averaged 8.5 points on a career-high 42.9 percent shooting from behind the 3-point line (on 1.9 3-point attempts per game) to go along with 6.5 assists, 4.5 rebounds and 1.2 steals.
The Lakers would have liked to have him back for their game against the San Antonio Spurs, who they’ve lost both of their matchups with this season, but it doesn’t sound like he’ll be sidelined for much longer.
Rondo’s original timetable for a return was 4-5 weeks. Friday will be four weeks.
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