LaMelo Ball Likely Sidelined For Extended Period

NOVEMBER 30: Ball will be reevaluated in one week after an MRI confirmed he suffered a right ankle sprain, according to a release from the team.

NOVEMBER 28: Hornets star guard LaMelo Ball has a severely sprained right ankle and will likely miss extended time, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter links).

While the ankle isn’t fractured, a cautious approach is expected for a player who has been riddled with injuries in his young career. Ball had surgery on the same ankle last season. He’s currently in a walking boot and on crutches, per Charania.
Ball had already been ruled out Tuesday’s in-season tournament game against the Knicks. He needed assistance to leave the court on Sunday after being injured against Orlando.
Ball landed awkwardly while attempting a left-handed layup shortly before halftime of that contest when he got tangled up with Paolo Banchero.
Ball was limited to 36 games last season because of four ankle injuries. He had gotten off to a strong start this fall — 24.7 points, 8.2 assists and 5.5 rebounds per game. He scored 30 points or more in seven of his last 10 games.
Ball signed a five-year max extension during the summer. Ball’s starting salary on the new deal will pay him at least 25% of the 2024/25 cap. There is reportedly Rose Rule language in the contract that could increase that figure to 30% of the cap if Ball earns All-NBA honors this season. A lengthy absence would almost certainly dash those hopes, given the 65-game minimum requirement for major awards this seasono.
Without Ball, Hornets guards Ish Smith, Theo Maledon and James Bouknight could all see a bump in playing time.
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