Less than a week after returning from surgery to repair a broken right hand, Rajon Rondo suffered another injury that required surgery.
Rondo had an operation to repair a severely sprained right ring finger, and the Lakers said Friday he is expected to miss four to five more weeks.
The injury occurred in the second half of Tuesday’s 127-101 win at Golden State. Rondo scored 15 points with 10 assists in 23 minutes, helping carry the Lakers after LeBron James left the game with a groin strain.
When the team left for Sacramento on Wednesday, Rondo came to the team plane and gave them chocolate chip cookies, and then left. Coach Luke Walton said Rondo had hoped he could play through the pain but came to the conclusion that it was best to have the procedure.
“It was still hurting pretty bad,” Walton said. “He tried to pick up a basketball and palm it and all those type of things, and it was killing him. Kinda the decision was based on, ‘I can fight through this and see how much I can do, or just get it done ASAP, come back 100% and try to make a late season push’ type of thing. But all parties decided it was the best option.”
Rondo has missed 22 games in his first season in L.A. He missed 17 games with the broken hand and three games in the first month of the season after he was suspended for fighting with Houston’s Chris Paul.
NBA teams get tampering memo
NBA teams received a memo from the league office about the rules against tampering with other teams’ players under contract, according to sources not authorized to speak publicly.
The impetus for the memo appears to be LeBron James’ fairly innocuous comments to ESPN this month that he’d like to play with New Orleans star Anthony Davis. James’ comments got under the skin of some executives with smaller-market teams, who have seen their top players routinely head to bigger markets either via forced trades or free agency.
The memo didn’t mention James, but it did remind teams that comments that may not fall under the definition of tampering can be punishable if they’re part of an organized recruitment, or if the comments are made by players at the behest of the organization.
Davis, the subject of trade rumors despite no public request for a deal, signed with Klutch Sports, the agency that represents James, fueling rumors that he’d like to play for the Lakers.
McGee remains out
Lakers center JaVale McGee missed his seventh consecutive game Friday night. The Lakers said McGee, who had pneumonia last week, had been cleared to play since Sunday’s game, but the team hasn’t practiced and decided to hold him out.
Mbah a Moute making progress
Clippers forward Luc Mbah a Moute took the latest step in his recovery from a sore left knee by taking part in a pregame warmup.
Mbah a Moute, who signed a one-year,$4.3-million contract in July, has played just four games. He suited up before Friday’s game against the Lakers and took shots an hour before tipoff but was not active for the game.
Staff writers Andrew Greif, Dan Woike and Broderick Turner contributed to this report.
Follow Tania Ganguli on Twitter @taniaganguli