When Lonzo Ball collided with James Ennis III and needed to be carried off the court after rolling his left ankle, the optics suggested the Los Angeles Lakers point guard was due for a prolonged absence.
Ball went for X-rays that evening, which came back negative, but an MRI the following day confirmed a Grade 3 sprained left ankle. While it entailed a torn ligament in his ankle, Ball did not require surgery.
He nonetheless was projected to need four to six weeks — from Jan. 20 — to recover from the injury. As pain persisted, further testing revealed Ball also sustained a bone bruise in the ankle, which delayed his timeline.
Amid reports the Lakers have decided to rule Ball out for the remainder of the season, the second-year guard himself essentially confirmed as much in an interview on Spectrum SportsNet:
“I’m starting to do some squats now (but) still can’t run, still can’t jump. I can walk fine now as long as it’s tape up. I’m pretty good. … It’s definitely what it is; looking at the bigger picture. That’s all I can do right now. Unfortunately, I’m shut down for the rest of the year, so I’ve just got to get as healthy as possible as fast as possible.”
Ball recently has been seen on the court after practices doing light shooting and going through dribbling drills with Lakers assistant coach Miles Simon. Head coach Luke Walton nonetheless deemed it unlikely that Ball would play in another game this season.
The last official update from the Lakers came March 9 and cleared Ball for non-contact basketball activities. They added Ball was due to be re-evaluated in two weeks.