Lonzo Ball to Return from Knee Injury vs. Mavericks; Out vs. Kings on Saturday

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistFebruary 23, 2018

Los Angeles Lakers' Lonzo Ball walks on the court during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the San Antonio Spurs Thursday, Jan. 11, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Jae C. Hong/Associated Press

Los Angeles Lakers guard Lonzo Ball will be on a minutes restriction in Friday's game against the Dallas Mavericks and will not play Saturday against the Sacramento Kings, coach Luke Walton told reporters.

Ball, 20, has missed the last 15 games due to a knee injury. It's unclear how many minutes Ball will be limited to, but odds are he will continue to be held out on back-to-backs for the time being as he returns to game shape.

The rookie is averaging 10.2 points, 7.1 rebounds and 7.1 assists per game this season. He'll return to a roster that looks different from the one he last played with, as the Lakers moved Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance at the trade deadline. Isaiah Thomas is now in the point guard rotation, and Ball said he believes the two can share the court.

"Opposites attract," Ball told reporters. "I like to pass, he likes to shoot. So I think we’re going to work well. And he can definitely help me on the offensive end, just the way he comes off screens. How he gets to his spots on the floor so he definitely helps me a lot."

Ball has missed 21 games overall this season due to injury. His return should help spark the Lakers on both ends of the floor, as the team has performed much better when he's been on the floor all season, per Basketball-Reference.

The Lakers were 8-7 during Ball's most recent absence. 

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