New Delhi: The BCCI on Friday put out a picture of the Indian Team’s jersey bearing IAF Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman’s name and number 1 on it as a tribute after his return to the country from Pakistan.Varthaman returned home from Pakistan on Friday to a hero’s welcome, two days after he was captured following a dogfight when his MiG 21 was shot down.Pakistani officials handed over Varthaman to Indian officials, including from the IAF, at the Attari-Wagah Border late Friday. “#WelcomeHomeAbhinandan You rule the skies and you rule our hearts. Your courage and dignity will inspire generations to come #TeamIndia,” BCCI wrote in its twitter handle along with the picture.Sports persons, including top former and current cricketers, also took to twitter to welcome Varthaman. “A hero is more than just four letters. Through his courage, selflessness and perseverance, OUR HERO teaches us to have faith in ourselves.Also Read | Proud to hand over legacy of Indian jersey to future generations, says MS Dhoni#WelcomeHomeAbhinandan,” batting legend Sachin Tendulkar wrote in his page. India skipper Virat Kohli also shared a picture of the Indian hero in his social media account.“Real Hero. I bow down to you. Jai Hind,” he wrote. Former India opener Virender Sehwag also posted a sketch of Varthaman on his twitter handle.“How proud we are to have you ! Bow down to your skills and even more your grit and courage #WelcomeBackAbhinandan . We love you and are filled with pride because of you. #WeAreSupposedToTellYouThis,” he wrote along with the picture. For all the Latest Sports News News, Cricket News News, Download News Nation Android and iOS Mobile Apps.
EL SEGUNDO — Even while his hand was hurting, while it was being drained and iced, Rajon Rondo still had his eyes. He was asked to use them.Sitting aside for the last 17 games with a fracture in his right hand, Rondo watched how the Lakers (18-13) played without him. Sometimes from the sideline, sometimes on a screen from afar. In fact when he couldn’t fly for the last four-game trip, Rondo said he missed it: not necessarily being in the game, but just alongside his teammates on the bench.“I was just frustrated I couldn’t travel with the team, but obviously the man upstairs had different plans for me as far as resting longer,” he said. “But, like I said, I missed being out there with the guys, coaching, talking trash a little bit from the sideline. That’s the only thing I missed.”The Lakers missed him and Brandon Ingram perhaps even more: The team went 1-3 on the last trip without both key pieces of their playing rotation, and in the last two losses to the Wizards and the Nets, the lack of play-making and scoring punch those two, in particular, can provide were keenly felt. Lakers practice early hoping to answer all questions Still, bringing back anyone healthy into the lineup helps a Lakers team that said it lost steam without its depth on the road the last week. To play the up-tempo style Walton desires, it helps to have more players in the rotation to keep the energy up, and Rondo, especially, is one of the managers who keeps the second unit humming.Rondo devotes as much time to his conditioning as anyone on the team: He has said before that he puts in three hours a day to his body, including treatment and yoga. But even as the Lakers hope he’ll keep the pace high, he’s curious to find out how long it will take to get to that level.“That’s the challenge, especially being off for five weeks: being able to push the pace as far as my cardio, my condition,” he said. “You can do as much as you can off the court and simulate things in the weight room, but it’s nothing like getting on the court and playing at that same pace at an NBA level.”But both Rondo and Ingram have watched a lot of games in the meantime. Walton has asked Ingram to watch the ball movement during games when the Lakers have played without him and to visualize his role when he gets back.He said he can still work on his shooting efficiency and being a contributor on defense.Related Articles Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error How athletes protesting the national anthem has evolved over 17 years Trail Blazers, Grizzlies advance to NBA play-in game; Suns, Spurs see playoff dreams dashed Trail Blazers beat Grizzlies in play-in, earn first-round series with the Lakers Lakers, Clippers schedules set for first round of NBA playoffs “How good guys were moving without the basketball, I think most of the time we were getting the best shot for the team,” he said of the details he paid attention to. “I think we did really, really good beyond the 3-point line, so we’re shooting it with more confidence.”Both Rondo and Ingram practiced with the G League affiliate South Bay Lakers during their rehab. The team released some video of Rondo leading a team huddle during one of those practices.It feeds into a part of himself that Rondo has acknowledged: He’s interested in being a coach, GM or front office official when he’s done playing.“I do love teaching the game,” he said. “But I also love dissecting the game and figuring out ways to beat people at the top.” AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with PackersIt’s a relief, then, that both were full participants in practice on Thursday after a long time on the shelf (Ingram missed seven games with a sprained left ankle). While nothing is decided for sure, it puts both closer to being able to return Friday night against the New Orleans Pelicans at Staples Center.Sign up for Home Turf and get exclusive stories every SoCal sports fan must read, sent daily. Subscribe here.Both said a lot rides on how they feel when they wake up Friday morning: For Rondo, it’s the pain and swelling in his hand. For Ingram, it’s the tenderness of his ankle.“I felt really, really good today,” Ingram said. “We’ll see how it responds when I come back tonight, and try to treat it and get back in there, but it felt really good when I was practicing today.”Not all the news on the health front was good for the Lakers on Thursday: JaVale McGee’s continued flu symptoms kept him out of practice, and there’s concern that he could miss his third straight start. The Lakers haven’t won with the 7-footer out of the starting lineup, and Coach Luke Walton said the team particularly misses his shot-blocking ability (2.6 bpg).“He’s still sick: wasn’t in today, getting treatment, getting IVs,” Walton said. “That’s kinda one of the things that’s up to him and the doctors, whenever they feel he’s good enough to play, he’ll play again.”