LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Rajon Rondo will clear quarantine Monday, according to Los Angeles Lakers coach Frank Vogel, but the team is unsure when the veteran point guard would be available to suit up for the NBA playoffs.
“I’m not sure exactly when he’s going to be available to be in uniform,” Vogel said on a video conference call Sunday. “We’ll get him on the court and see where he’s at. But no specific timetable yet on him.”
The Lakers discovered Rondo’s fractured right thumb five weeks ago after just the second team practice in Florida. The team estimated Rondo would return to full basketball activities in six to eight weeks. Rondo left the NBA bubble to undergo surgery and reentered late last week, needing to undergo a four-day quarantine after turning in negative COVID-19 tests for seven days prior to the reentry.
L.A. opens the playoffs Tuesday as the Western Conference’s No. 1 seed, facing the No. 8 Portland Trail Blazers. In 2018, the legend of “Playoff Rondo” grew when Rondo, Anthony Davis and the sixth-seeded New Orleans Pelicans upset the No. 3-seeded Blazers in the first round, sweeping the series 4-0.
“Rondo was huge for us,” Davis said Sunday when asked to reflect on that series. “Able to break down their offense and their defensive schemes and kind of even the odds on the floor during that series. So he was a big part of it.”
Rondo averaged 11.3 points, 13.3 assists and 7.5 rebounds in that Blazers matchup.
Davis said Rondo was “not going to be on the floor with us” for the Lakers’ series against Portland, but he would “be there helping us out, so that’s a good sign.” Vogel said Rondo has been an active participant in his coaches’ meetings since the injury and has even monitored Lakers practices in the bubble over a video feed.
The 34-year-old averaged 7.1 points, 5 assists and 3 rebounds this season, his second with the Lakers. He appeared in 48 games for Los Angeles and started in three.