Symbolic of how the season has gone for the Los Angeles Lakers, they lost Lonzo Ball to a sprained ankle suffered in the third quarter of Saturday’s game against the Houston Rockets.
The immediate visuals were not encouraging. Ball went to the ground in a heap of pain after colliding with James Ennis III and could not get back to his feet as play went the other way. He was carried off the court by Michael Beasley and Lance Stephenson.
An X-ray of Ball’s left ankle came back negative and he was given a preliminary diagnosis of a sprain. Upon undergoing an MRI, it was determined Ball suffered a Grade 3 sprain and is set to miss four to six weeks.
While that severity of a sprain amounts to a ligament tear, Ball will manage to avoid surgery, according to Tania Ganguli of the L.A. Times:
A Grade 3 sprain, which Lonzo Ball has in his ankle, involves a ligament tear, but Ball's will not require surgery.
— Tania Ganguli (@taniaganguli) January 20, 2019
Last November, Ball suffered a mild left ankle sprain during practice. He then aggravated the injury in a Nov. 10 game against the Sacramento Kings, the first of a back-to-back, and again on Nov. 27.
The first instance didn’t prevent Ball from starting the following night, and while he was removed early in the third quarter, held out for the rest of the game and withheld from practice the next day, Ball again did not miss any time.
He attributed the ability to shake off the minor ankle trouble to improved physical condition from his rookie season. While that may have previously held true, Ball was unable to avoid a much more severe sprain this time around, and now he’ll endure another injury-impacted season.
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