Rajon Rondo of Los Angeles Lakers breaks hand, out 'a few weeks'

LeBron James Brandon Ingram Lakers

Rondo had surgery to fix the broken third metacarpal in his right hand on November 16, an injury sustained in the final frame of that game while attempting to make a steal.

The Lakers defeated the Blazers 126-117 at the Staples Center on Wednesday, winning their fourth straight game to improve to 8-6.

Rondo - who is expected to miss the next 4-5 weeks - has been crucial to leading the Lakers' second unit, as he ranks second in the National Basketball Association in bench assists (5.6).

Losing the backup point guard and a key veteran presence will be the next challenge for the Lakers to overcome.

"Of course you're always aware of the reality of what's going on", Walton told reporters at the Lakers' practice facility on Thursday. We don't act like it didn't happen, but we acknowledge it and we move forward. "But the way we make up for it, there's obviously not another Rondo to put out there to do that stuff but it is one of those things where as a group, as a team, we all have to do a little more to make up for it".

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Rondo has played like the Lakers' best point guard at times this season. After rough stops in Dallas and Chicago, Rondo helped lead the New Orleans Pelicans to a playoff berth and a first-round sweep of the Portland Trail Blazers last season. The 32-year-old old is averaging 8.5 points, 4.5 rebounds, 6.5 assists and 1.2 steals in 25.3 minutes per contest.

Until Rondo gets back, Lonzo Ball will likely see an increase in minutes individually, and this could also mean that the team will call up Alex Caruso - who is now on assignment with the South Bay Lakers - from the G League.

LeBron James could see more time running point as well.

Brandon Ingram and Lance Stephenson are a couple of wings with successful experience running point for the Lakers, so look for them to take turns piloting different lineups. "I know he'll get right to it with his rehab, but it's next man up". Walton expects Rondo to "be out a few weeks".

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