On the same night the Los Angeles Lakers saw Brandon Ingram return from a groin strain that sidelined him for four weeks, the team finished out their win against the Dallas Mavericks without the services of Lonzo Ball.
He suffered what the Lakers diagnoses as a left knee contusion, which prevented the rookie point guard from playing in the fourth quarter. Prior to being ruled out for the remainder of the night, Ball was seen limping, grimacing, and stretching his knee on the bench.
Lakers head coach Luke Walton said Ball is set to undergo an MRI, though didn’t express much concern. It’s a tone and sentiment the 20-year-old echoed. “Just got kneed in the back (of the knee), kind of on a back screen. Unfortunately I couldn’t finish the game out,” Ball said.
“I think it’s just a bruise to the back of my leg. I should be OK. It’s like a dead leg. Not in the spot I have it right now, but I’ve had something like this before.”
Ball finished with eight points on 3-for-7 shooting, four rebounds and five assists in 24 minutes.
Aside form previous history in dealing with a similar injury, Ball more importantly did not get struck in the same area of his knee that caused an MCL sprain and six-week absence. “It wasn’t in the spot that I previously hurt that caused me to miss a lot of games, so I wasn’t too worried about it,” he explained.
“It’s kind of just like a bruise. It hurts, but I should be back soon. I was trying to get back in the game. Put some heat on it and see if it would go away, but it didn’t.”
Ball said he would ice the knee and wait for the bruise to subside. Considering how cautious the Lakers have been with handling his previous injuries, it wouldn’t come as much of a surprise if Ball does not play in their remaining eight games.