Lonzo Ball could miss significant time after spraining his ankle in Saturday’s loss to the Rockets, writes Bill Oram of The Athletic. The injury occurred midway through the third quarter when Ball collided with James Ennis. It caused an instant momentum shift as the Lakers, who were leading by 17 points, fell to Houston in overtime.
Ball was taken to an area hospital, where X-rays were negative for fractures. An MRI will be conducted to determine the full extent of the damage, coach Luke Walton told reporters after the game.
“He knew it was something big,” said teammate Lance Stephenson, who helped carry Ball back to the locker room.
Oram notes that the Lakers have been cautious with Ball when he has been injured in the past. He was listed as day-to-day when he suffered a knee injury last season, but wound up sitting out 15 games. Ball only played 52 games as a rookie, then had knee surgery over the summer.
“For Lonzo it’s learning on the go,” Walton said. “He hasn’t had an offseason yet to work on his game. So he’s learning while we’re playing during the season and he’s really done a nice job of turning a corner. We’ll see where we’re at, how long he’s out for, and hopefully get him up and running again and playing at the level he was playing at before he got hurt.”
It’s bad timing for the Lakers, who are on the verge of getting LeBron James and Rajon Rondo back from injuries. Ball has been one of the top contributors in helping L.A. go 5-8 without the two veterans, averaging 12.9 points, 6.9 assists and 6.2 rebounds during that stretch, but it appears the team will continue to be short-handed as it fights to remain in the playoff race.