Los Angeles Lakers rookie point guard Lonzo Ball is currently sidelined by a left knee injury for a second time since January. Whereas the first incident was an MCL sprain, Ball is now dogged by a knee contusion.
In both cases, Ball and the Lakers dismissed the injury as being serious. Yet, he went on to miss six weeks because of the sprain. Presently, Ball has missed the past two games heading into Tuesday’s matchup with the Utah Jazz.
“He said he’s feeling much better but we’re not going to put him back out there yet,” Lakers head coach Luke Walton recently said. Just like his previous road to returning required, Ball will need to ramp up his work in practices before being inserted back into the lineup.
The Lakers don’t yet have a timetable for when that might come to fruition. “Get him back on the court again in a controlled setting,” Walton said of the next, or first step.
“He’s getting treatment, and as soon as he says it feels better and the training staff gets him doing live-speed stuff, then we’ll be able to get him on the court for some 2-on-2 and 3-on-3 type of stuff. If that feels good, then we’ll be able to get him back in a game.”
Ball is averaging 10.2 points, 6.9 rebounds and 7.2 assists, but has been limited to 52 games (50 starts) because of shoulder and knee injuries. Nonetheless, the 20-year-old leads the team in assists, steals per game (1.7) and is second in rebounding.
Along with not having Ball, the Lakers have also missed Brandon Ingram. He was entered into the NBA’s concussion protocol on Saturday. Just as with Ball, the Lakers don’t have a definitive answer for when Ingram may return.