Lonzo Ball Out Until After All-Star Break Due to Knee Injury, Luke Walton Says
According to Lakers.com’s Mike Trudell, Walton said Ball "looked good" during a practice that included some contact but explained the team will hold him out because there’s still a "little bit of discomfort."
Walton also suggested Ball won’t be available for Friday’s Rising Stars Challenge at L.A.’s Staples Center:
Ball has been sidelined since Jan. 13 and has missed the Lakers’ last 13 games.
L.A. has contests against the New Orleans Pelicans on Wednesday and Minnesota Timberwolves on Thursday before the All-Star break begins. Ball’s next chance to suit up will come Feb. 23 against the Dallas Mavericks.
Ball has struggled at times during his rookie season, especially as a shooter, but has still filled up the box score when on the floor with 10.2 points, 7.1 assists, 7.1 rebounds and 1.5 steals per game.
The biggest problem has been injuries.
The knee sprain will eventually cost the 20-year-old more than a month. In addition, he’s missed about two weeks because of a shoulder sprain, and other setbacks to his quad, calf and ankle have limited him.
For a player with as much upside as Ball, who was the No. 2 overall pick in the 2017 NBA draft, missing this much time has hurt his development. Add in the constant external pressure as one of the most high-profile rookies in recent history, and it hasn’t been easy for the guard to reach external expectations.
Still, Ball has enough potential for the Lakers to believe in him as long as he can find a way to stay on the court.
Isaiah Thomas and Josh Hart will continue to do some heavy lifting with Ball out.
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February 13, 2018 at 10:23PM