Lonzo Ball Out Until After All-Star Break Due to Knee Injury, Luke Walton Says

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistFebruary 13, 2018

LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 11: Lonzo Ball #2 of the Los Angeles Lakers handles the ball against the San Antonio Spurs on January 11, 2018 at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, California. 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 2018 NBAE (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
Andrew D. Bernstein/Getty Images

Los Angeles Lakers head coach Luke Walton told reporters Tuesday that point guard Lonzo Ball will not play until after the All-Star break as he continues to recover from a sprained MCL. 

According to Lakers.com's Mike Trudell, Walton said Ball "looked good" during a practice that included some contact but explained the team will hold him out because there's still a "little bit of discomfort."

Walton also suggested Ball won't be available for Friday's Rising Stars Challenge at L.A.'s Staples Center: 

Ball has been sidelined since Jan. 13 and has missed the Lakers' last 13 games. 

L.A. has contests against the New Orleans Pelicans on Wednesday and Minnesota Timberwolves on Thursday before the All-Star break begins. Ball's next chance to suit up will come Feb. 23 against the Dallas Mavericks

Ball has struggled at times during his rookie season, especially as a shooter, but has still filled up the box score when on the floor with 10.2 points, 7.1 assists, 7.1 rebounds and 1.5 steals per game. 

The biggest problem has been injuries.

The knee sprain will eventually cost the 20-year-old more than a month. In addition, he's missed about two weeks because of a shoulder sprain, and other setbacks to his quad, calf and ankle have limited him.

For a player with as much upside as Ball, who was the No. 2 overall pick in the 2017 NBA draft, missing this much time has hurt his development. Add in the constant external pressure as one of the most high-profile rookies in recent history, and it hasn't been easy for the guard to reach external expectations.

Still, Ball has enough potential for the Lakers to believe in him as long as he can find a way to stay on the court.

Isaiah Thomas and Josh Hart will continue to do some heavy lifting with Ball out. 

Related

    Lottery Picks Facing Make-or-Break Seasons

    NBA logo
    NBA

    Lottery Picks Facing Make-or-Break Seasons

    Jonathan Wasserman
    via Bleacher Report

    Report: Heat Most Aggressive in Pursuit of Butler

    NBA logo
    NBA

    Report: Heat Most Aggressive in Pursuit of Butler

    Scott Polacek
    via Bleacher Report

    Anthony Davis Signs with Klutch Sports

    Los Angeles Lakers logo
    Los Angeles Lakers

    Anthony Davis Signs with Klutch Sports

    Scott Polacek
    via Bleacher Report

    Report: Butler Drawing Interest from Raps, Would Join Kawhi

    NBA logo
    NBA

    Report: Butler Drawing Interest from Raps, Would Join Kawhi

    Timothy Rapp
    via Bleacher Report