As the Los Angeles Lakers were awaiting the returns of LeBron James and Rajon Rondo, they incurred another injury when Lonzo Ball collided with James Ennis III during a January game with the Houston Rockets.
Ball immediately went down in pain, grabbing at his left ankle before being carried off the court by teammates. Ball was taken for an X-Ray, which came back negative. He was diagnosed with a sprained ankle at the time, and an MRI the following day confirmed the injury.
Although Ball suffered a Grade 3 sprained left ankle, which entails a ligament tear, he avoided surgery. The Lakers provided a timetable of four to six weeks for his recovery.
However, according to Tania Ganguli of the L.A. Times, Ball is also suffering from a bone bruise that may delay his return:
Lakers point guard Lonzo Ball has been dealing with a bone bruise in his sprained left ankle that the team believes could extend his recovery past six weeks, according to two people familiar with Ball’s condition.
Sunday will mark five weeks since Ball’s MRI. He recently was said to be running on an underwater treadmill and progressing well in his recovery.
His absence not only robbed the Lakers of their starting point guard, but the team’s defense went into a slide without him. Several of Ball’s teammates have pointed to his forthcoming return as one key to the Lakers continuing their push to the playoffs.
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