Lakers News: Latest on Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram's Injuries and Recoveries

Mike ChiariFeatured ColumnistOctober 4, 2017

LAS VEGAS, NV - JULY 7:  Lonzo Ball #2 of the Los Angeles Lakers puts on his shoes against the Los Angeles Clippers on July 7, 2017 at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images)
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The Los Angeles Lakers have battled through several key injuries in the early part of preseason play, and that includes two of their most exciting, young players in Lonzo Ball and Brandon Ingram.

Both Ball and Ingram exited Monday's game against the Denver Nuggets after getting banged up, and it remains unclear if they will be in action when L.A. faces Denver again on Wednesday.

With the preseason progressing, here is a closer look at what is ailing both Ball and Ingram and the latest on their respective statuses.

        

Lonzo Ball

According to ESPN.com's Ohm Youngmisuk, Ball suffered a mild left ankle sprain during the second quarter of Monday's game.

The 2017 No. 2 overall draft pick out of UCLA stepped on Nuggets point guard Emmanuel Mudiay's foot, which caused him to tweak his ankle. Although Ball played some after that, the Lakers took the cautious route by getting him out of the game.

Ball sat out practice Tuesday, but head coach Luke Walton didn't appear to be concerned about the nature of his injury: "I don't think Lonzo's is anything too serious. But since it's preseason, we gave him the day off to make sure his ankle's right and he'll get re-evaluated tomorrow. He had treatment all day today."

Ball made his preseason debut Saturday night in a loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves, and although he struggled from the floor by making just two of his nine attempts for five points, he registered eight assists, seven rebounds and two steals.

The shooting improved Monday to the tune of 3-for-6 for eight points, along with four assists, two rebounds, one steal and one block.

Ball won the MVP award during summer league play, but nagging injuries forced him to miss some games, and remaining healthy has already been an issue in the preseason.

The Lakers have the luxury of taking it slow with Ball since the start of the regular season is still a couple of weeks away.

Also, Los Angeles has some solid backcourt depth in the form of Jordan Clarkson, Tyler Ennis, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Corey Brewer, Briante Weber and others.

While getting Ball in the lineup and building chemistry with his teammates is important heading toward the regular season, ensuring he is as close to 100 percent healthy as possible should be the Lakers' No. 1 goal.

       

Brandon Ingram

Like Ball, Ingram was unable to get out of Monday's game against the Nuggets unscathed, and it could potentially keep him out of Wednesday's contest.

Per Youngmisuk, Ingram bumped heads with Nuggets guard Malik Beasley in the fourth quarter of Monday's game, and he was later diagnosed with a head contusion.

Ingram is questionable for Wednesday, as he did not partake in Tuesday's practice.

There was plenty of hype surrounding Ingram last season after the Lakers selected him with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2016 NBA draft out of Duke.

He had his ups and downs as a rookie, finishing with averages of 9.4 points, 4.0 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game.

The expectation is that Ingram will take a significant leap forward in his second year and be one of the Lakers' top offensive contributors.

He had a somewhat rough go in Monday's game prior to getting injured, as he scored nine points on 3-of-9 shooting, while adding two rebounds and one block.

Ingram was slightly better Saturday against the T'Wolves with 10 points, but he made just four of his 15 attempts from the floor.

Although Ingram could use as much game experience as possible during the preseason to find his shooting rhythm, the Lakers should be in no rush to force him back from injury, especially with rookie Kyle Kuzma performing at such a high level.