The hopes the Los Angeles Lakers had of rookie guard Lonzo Ball getting back into the lineup have been delayed once again.
A day after it seemed as if Ball could possibly return to the court this week, his timeline has been pushed back to after the NBA All-Star break. Coach Luke Walton announced the news after yesterday’s practice. It remains unclear if Ball, who is a participant in the Mtn Dew Kickstart Rising Stars game on Friday, will play in that All-Star event.
Walton assumes Ball will be out for the Rising Stars game. Although his official status hasn’t been determined, it is unlikely Ball would skip the two Lakers games preceding All-Star weekend and then play in that Friday exhibition at Staples Center.
Games on Wednesday in New Orleans and Thursday in Minnesota will be the 14th and 15th games Ball has missed because of the MCL sprain. He also missed six games earlier in the season with a shoulder sprain.
The latest injury is improving.
On Tuesday, Ball participated in practice and took some contact with his teammates, in half-court defensive drills, for the first time since suffering the injury. Walton said that Ball is still a little sore but that he is making good progress.
The Lakers did not make Ball available to discuss his situation.
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