• Rajon Rondo is on track to return in time for the Lakers' bid in the Playoffs
  • Rondo is back in Florida to begin his rehab following surgery on his right thumb
  • Despite his low averages this year, Rondo would still be needed by the Lakers in a grueling series

Rajon Rondo could be making his return for the Los Angeles Lakers at the most ideal time. A comeback just in time for the NBA Playoffs is within sight for the veteran point guard as the timetable for his recovery following a successful thumb injury is reported to be set.

Lakers head coach Frank Vogel revealed Rondo is back in Florida for his rehab where he is also scheduled for mandated seven-day testing for COVID-19, according to Dave McMenamin of ESPN.

“Frank Vogel says Rondo will begin daily testing today, now that he’s arrived in Florida to rehab. If he returns 7 consecutive negative tests, then he can re-join the bubble with a four-day quarantine. That would have him back with the team before the start of the playoffs, Aug. 17,” he wrote.

Rondo suffered a fracture on his right thumb during a Lakers’ training session on July 12. Initial diagnosis predicted a recovery period of six-to-eight weeks that meant the 34-year-old could return to the team for the Finals in October at a worst-case scenario.

Taking a glance at his numbers this year, one would say that Rondo’s absence would hardly be a telling factor in the Lakers’ title campaign. In 48 games playing as a back-up to LeBron James at the point, the former All-Star is averaging just 7.1 points, 5.0 assists, and 3.0 rebounds in just 20.5 minutes per game on 41.8% shooting from the field, 32.8% from beyond the arc, and 65.9% from the free-throw line.

But there is an underlying reason why “Playoff Rondo” exists, and the Lakers cannot deny that this version of the vet will be needed when they enter a string of grueling postseason rounds.

“(The Lakers) don’t need Rondo for the seeding games. However, when the playoffs start, Vogel and the Lakers will need all hands on deck to get through a deep and talented West,” Kurt Helin of NBC Sports wrote.

The Lakers officially clinched that top spot in the West after they defeated the Utah Jazz on Monday, 116-108, behind Anthony Davis’ 42-point performance that went along with 12 boards and four assists. James, meanwhile, flirted with a triple-double, notching 22 markers, nine dimes, and eight rebounds.

Rajon Rondo Los Angeles Lakers
Rajon Rondo #9 of the Los Angeles Lakers takes an inbound during the game against the Minnesota Timberwolves at Staples Center on November 7, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. Harry How/Getty Images