After a rookie season that was marred by multiple knee injuries, Lonzo Ball underwent surgery over the summer to correct the issue. As a result, his on-court activity was eliminated but he remained capable of working on strength and conditioning.
A remade physique paid early dividends for Ball as he noted being better suited to absorb contact when driving into the lane and in a multitude of scenarios on defense. Though a recent ankle injury also served as another example.
“Definitely last season I would’ve been out for a couple weeks,” Ball said of a sprained ankle suffered Nov. 27. “Definitely paid off this summer being in the gym, getting my body right.”
Ball sustained the injury late in the second quarter of the road matchup against the Denver Nuggets. He was considered questionable to return, and was back on the court to start the third quarter.
Though, he only played two minutes before being replaced, and didn’t return after that. Following the Lakers’ loss, Ball claimed he would not miss time and that he felt capable of continuing to play against the Nuggets.
Ball was held out of practice the following day, but as he predicted, remained in the lineup. It marked a second time this season he managed to play while coming off an ankle issue. Ball tweaked his left ankle Nov. 10, which was the first of a back-to-back.
Not only has the second-year point guard avoided time missed due to injury, he’s been instrumental for the Lakers on defense of late, collecting a combined nine steals over the past two games.