Lonzo Ball Cleared by Lakers Medical Staff After Knee Injury, Surgery

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistSeptember 20, 2018

Los Angeles Lakers' Lonzo Ball in action during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Indiana Pacers, Monday, March 19, 2018, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
Darron Cummings/Associated Press

Two months after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his left knee, Los Angeles Lakers point guard Lonzo Ball has been medically cleared by team doctors.

"He's been 100 percent cleared by our medical staff to return to full basketball activity," Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka said Thursday, per Spectrum SportsNet's Mike Trudell. "Because he hasn't played NBA five-on-five for four or five months, there is a progression to come back."   

This comes two days after Los Angeles coach Luke Walton revealed, per Spectrum SportsNet's Mike Bresnahan, that the team wouldn't rush the second-year player back to the court, revealing Ball won't participate in five-on-five scrimmages when training camps opens next week.

In fact, there is no guarantee that he will be on the floor when Los Angeles opens the season against the Portland Trail Blazers on Oct. 18.

"It's impossible to predict the future when you're coming back from an injury," Pelinka revealed Thursday, per Bresnahan.

The Lakers can afford to let Ball take his time on the recovery trail after signing veteran Rajon Rondo this summer.

Ball was diagnosed with a torn left meniscus in late June, according to Stadium's Shams Charania. The 2017 No. 2 overall pick was limited to just 52 games as a rookie.

Last season, Ball averaged 10.2 points, 7.2 assists and 6.9 rebounds. And Lakers president Magic Johnson believes that's just the beginning.

Los Angeles improved its record for the second straight year this past season, going 35-47. However, expectations have skyrocketed after the team landed four-time NBA MVP LeBron James this summer. Snapping a five-year playoff drought is no longer viewed as the goal; this squad now has championship aspirations.

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