With just 17 games remaining and Lonzo Ball still recovering from a sprained left ankle/bone bruise, the Los Angeles Lakers have not ruled out the possibility that he will be shut down for the rest of the regular season.
Ball again was on the Lakers practice court going through dribbling drills and completing light shooting with assistant coach Miles Simon. He’s due to have his ankle re-evaluated for a second time on Saturday.
“There’s a possibility he does play, but there’s a possibility he does not play, too,” Lakers head coach Luke Walton said. “We won’t even have the conversation (of Ball returning) until we’ve had a week’s worth of practice with him. Like I said, he’s not close to that.
“What you see right now is the most he’s been doing on the court. We haven’t even got full-speed 1-on-0 drills going yet.”
Ball was previously re-evaluated Feb. 28, when the team said he was healing but required additional recovery time because of the bone bruise.
The second-year point guard sprained his ankle — determined to be Grade 3 in severity — on Jan. 19. He was projected to miss four to six weeks, but the revelation of a bone bruise delayed a potential return.
Despite Ball’s sprain involving a torn ligament, he did not require surgery. If he is unable to return prior to season’s end, it would mark a second consecutive year in which injury shut him down prematurely.
Ball is averaging 9.9 points, 5.3 rebounds and 5.4 assists in 52 games (50 starts) thus far in his sophomore campaign.