Not long after the Los Angeles Lakers announced Brandon Ingram would miss the remainder of the season due to Deep Venous Thrombosis (DVT) — a blood clot — in his right arm, reports began to surface Lonzo Ball likely faced the same scenario.
The former No. 2 pick in the 2017 NBA Draft originally suffered a Grade 3 ankle sprain against the Houston Rockets on Jan. 19. As Ball’s expected return timetable was 4-6 weeks, he was making progress by running on an underwater treadmill in hopes of moving onto an Alter-G anti-gravity treadmill.
Unfortunately, at the five-week point of Ball’s recovery, it was determined he suffered a bone bruise in the injured ankle. Thus, that delayed a potential return.
Upon being re-evaluated for a second time in the past week, the Lakers said Ball continues to recover and will be examined once more in the coming weeks, per Kyle Goon of the Southern California News Group:
“Ball was re-evaluated by the team medical staff prior to tonight’s game vs. Boston. The evaluation indicated that Ball continues to make good progress in his recovery from a bone bruise related to the sprained ankle he suffered on January 19 at Houston. Ball, who ha sbeen cleared to begin non-contact basketball activities, will continue to advance his rehabilitation and will be re-evaluated by team physicians in approximately two weeks.”
Although the 21-year-old went through some shooting and dribbling drills at Friday’s practice, head coach Luke Walton revealed Ball was ‘not close’ to returning and suggested he could be shut down for the remainder of the season.
With the Lakers falling further behind the San Antonio Spurs for the eighth and final spot in the Western Conference, it ultimately did not make sense for him to return. While Ball’s latest injury did not require surgery, he was trying to come back from a ligament tear.
Despite improving his body during the offseason, Ball played in fewer games in his sophomore season (47) than his rookie campaign (52).
With another offseason of rehabbing, the hope is Ball will be completely healthy by the start of training camp and move past all of his lower-body injuries.