Lakers guard Lonzo Ball is set to return to the court for the Lakers on Friday night, head coach Luke Walton confirmed today (Twitter link). Ball, who has been recovering from a knee injury, last played on January 15.
According to the Lakers (Twitter link), Ball won’t play in back-to-back games for the time being, which means he’ll sit out Saturday’s game against Sacramento. The rookie point guard will also be on a minutes restriction for now.
Still, Ball’s return is an encouraging step for a Lakers team that will be focusing on developing its young players like Ball, Kyle Kuzma, and Brandon Ingram down the stretch this season. It will also be interesting to see how the team splits minutes at point guard between last year’s No. 2 overall pick and Isaiah Thomas, acquired from Cleveland two weeks ago in a deadline deal.
As we noted earlier today, Ball has talked enthusiastically about teaming with Thomas, suggesting their styles make them an ideal match, since Ball is a pass-first point guard while Thomas is more of a shooter and scorer. Still, it’s not clear how often they’ll play together, or if they’ll both get a chance to start for L.A. during the last couple months of the 2017/18 season.