After already missing 17 games because of hand surgery to repair a fracture, Rajon Rondo returned for three games with the Los Angeles Lakers before undergoing his second surgery.
As LeBron James remains out for at least this week’s games while he recovers from a strained groin, the Lakers losing their two leaders since Christmas Day has not been an easy adjustment for the team.
Lakers head coach Luke Walton has also noticed being unable to contribute has been trying for Rondo, who attempted to participate in a three-point competition at shootaround this week.
“I explained to him that it’s probably not a great idea for him to be doing shooting competitions,” Walton said. “He’s going a little stir crazy over there. He loves playing the game, and being hurt so much has really been tough on him.
“We try to include him as much as we can in what we can. Shooting games is probably not the smartest thing right now.”
Similar to the first surgery, Rondo is remaining involved on the sidelines during his projected 4-5 week recovery.
“He’s always talking trash, which kind of keeps the competitive level high. Just using that energy and wisdom he has to share with some of his younger teammates,” Walton said.
However, for the Lakers to end their five-year playoff drought, Rondo needs to be relatively healthy. At 21-18 and eighth in the Western Conference, there is pressure to win games as only 1.5 games separate them from the ninth-place Sacramento Kings.
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