Point guard LaMelo Ball underwent successful surgery to repair his fractured right ankle, the Hornets announced in a press release. He has been ruled out for the rest of the season and is expected to make a full recovery, per the team.
The non-contact injury occurred when Ball fell awkwardly after a behind-the-back dribble during the third quarter of Monday’s victory over Detroit. He also missed a significant amount of games early in ’22/23 due to three left ankle sprains.
Still just 21 years old, Ball was the No. 3 overall pick of the 2020 draft. In 36 games (35.2 MPG) this season, he averaged 23.3 PPG, 6.4 RPG, 8.3 APG and 1.3 SPG on .411/.376/.836 shooting.
As a former first-round pick entering his fourth season, Ball will be eligible for a rookie scale extension this summer. It will be an interesting offseason for the Hornets, as they currently hold the league’s fourth-worst record at 20-44 and figure to land an early lottery pick in the upcoming draft.