The Los Angeles Lakers are slowly working their way back to full strength with the return of Kyle Kuzma on the horizon, but they’re still a little banged up, particularly with Rajon Rondo and Anthony Davis.
While you couldn’t tell by his monster 40-point and 20-rebound effort against the Memphis Grizzlies on Tuesday, Davis has been dealing with pain in his right shoulder since Sunday, when he jammed his shoulder against the Charlotte Hornets. Davis sat out of Wednesday’s practice for that reason, but he sounded optimistic that he’ll be suiting up on Friday night.
Anthony Davis asked about his shoulder after doing mostly shooting in practice: “Shoulder feels good. Felt fine (in practice). You don’t want to really simulate what happens in games and have a chance to aggravate it.”— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) October 31, 2019
As for Rondo — Davis’s former New Orleans Pelicans teammate — there is less certainty on when he’ll play again. Rondo has been ruled out of Friday night’s game against his former team, the Dallas Mavericks, according to head coach Frank Vogel, and there’s still no timetable for his return as he’s still dealing with some discomfort in his calf.
Frank Vogel said Rajon Rondo is making the trip but he's still out. He says they've tried to give him less workload until his discomfort heals. He's still listed by the Lakers as day-to-day.— Kyle Goon (@kylegoon) October 31, 2019
Rondo was diagnosed with a mild calf strain after he underwent a precautionary MRI on Sunday. He has yet to play a regular season game.
The Lakers would benefit from having a second ball-handler on the floor, but with Alex Caruso getting more minutes and Kuzma’s return imminent, the need for Rondo isn’t as urgent as it was a week ago. Now, if it’s clear that Kuzma can’t be the floor general the second unit needs, Rondo might still have value to the team, but until then his value is as a leader in the locker room and a voice on the bench.
The Lakers and Mavericks will tip-off at 6:30 p.m. PST on Friday. There will likely be an update on Davis’ status before then.