Rajon Rondo ‘medically cleared’ to return, not expected to play in Game 1

Rajon Rondo was expected to miss the entire Lakers’ entire first-round series against the Trail Blazers due to his fractured thumb.

Or not. Rondo is back in the bubble and cleared quarantine, and ready to return. Laker coach Frank Vogel said Monday his point guard has been medically cleared, but don’t expect to see Rondo Tuesday night in the Lakers playoff opener against the Trail Blazers. Via Lakers reporter Mike Trudell.

Rondo’s return would be welcome to the Lakers as they head into a tougher-than-usual 1/8 first-round series. Rondo came off the bench for the Lakers this season, averaging 7.1 points and five assists a game. More importantly, he was the guy running the offense when LeBron James was off the court, something the Lakers found difficult to replace.

However, he doesn’t help much against Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum; Rondo is not the defender and player he once was.

In his absence, Dion Waiters showed he deserved a bigger role as a shot creator. Also, Kyle Kuzma suddenly shot like the long-lost Curry brother and overall played his best basketball in the bubble.