OAKLAND – After Rajon Rondo’s violent collision last Saturday with teammate Richard Jefferson during a game against Orlando, the Dallas Mavericks are closely monitoring the point guard’s progress.
And surgery could come into play.
Rondo suffered an orbital fracture to his left eye and a nasal fracture in the nasty collision, which occurred 98 seconds into the Mavs’ 108-93 victory over Orlando. But owner Mark Cuban said he did not suffer a concussion.
Head athletic trainer Casey Smith remained in Dallas to evaluate Rondo and send him through a battery of tests. When asked if he expects to find out by Thursday if Rondo will have surgery, Cuban said: "I don’t know, Casey is back there, so he’ll tell me.
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"You know me, I don’t push stuff. When I can’t change it, I just wait until I hear it.’’
It’s safe to say if Rondo does have to undergo surgery, he’ll likely miss the remaining four games the Mavs have on their schedule before the All-Star break. But if surgery can be avoided, it is not known when he’ll be able to play again.
"We’re not working on any timetable,’’ Cuban said. "When he gets back, he gets back.’’
Rondo missed Monday’s home game against Minnesota and Wednesday against the Warriors, and was also already slated to miss Thursday’s game in Sacramento. Cuban, however, said the four-time All-Star is already anxious to get back on the court.
"Literally, he wanted to play the other day,’’ Cuban said, referring to the game against Minnesota. "He could see out of it, so he thought he was ready to go.
"And he didn’t have a concussion. That shows you how hard a head he has.’’
Cuban said Rondo’s absence doesn’t change anything in regards to how the Mavs feel about the player they acquired from the Boston Celtics on Dec. 18.
"We know what he can do,’’ Cuban said. "When he comes back there will be plenty of time.
"I guess he turns into a normal trade -- a deadline trade -- rather than a pre-deadline trade.’’
The Mavs gave up Jameer Nelson, Brandan Wright, Jae Crowder, a 2015 first-round pick, a 2016 second-round pick and a $12.7 trade exception to acquire Dwight Powell and Rondo from the Celtics.
"Everybody is still excited about it and I’m glad he’s here and we just want to get him back on the court as soon as possible,’’ Cuban said. "At least now you can see his face.
"He’s a little bit more handsome now than he was before, so that’s a step in the right direction. But other than that, when he’s ready, he’s ready.’’