Lonzo Ball Ruled Out vs. Rockets After Ankle Injury Diagnosed as Sprain

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistJanuary 20, 2019

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

Los Angeles Lakers point guard Lonzo Ball suffered a sprained left ankle during the third quarter of Saturday night's game against the Houston Rockets.

The Lakers announced Ball would not return and that he was headed to a local hospital for X-rays, according to Mike Trudell of the team's official website. X-rays were negative for fractures, per ESPN's Dave McMenamin.

Two teammates carried Ball off the court and to the locker room:

The 21-year-old guard had eight points and 11 assists in 22 minutes before exiting because of injury.

Ball dealt with an ankle injury earlier in the season and played just 52 games during his rookie campaign after Los Angeles selected him with the No. 2 overall pick in 2017. He also underwent knee surgery during the offseason prior to the 2018-19 season.

The UCLA product averaged 10.2 points, 7.2 assists, 6.9 rebounds and 1.7 steals per game as a rookie and has posted 9.9 points, 5.3 assists and 5.4 rebounds during his second year while playing alongside LeBron James.

Ball's injury is just the latest for a banged-up Lakers squad. Both James (groin) and point guard Rajon Rondo (finger) have been out since Christmas Day. Both James (cleared to return to practice next week on Wednesday) and Rondo (cleared to return to full-contact practice on Friday) appear to be nearing returns.

With Ball and Rondo sidelined, Josh Hart, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Lance Stephenson figure to rotate in the backcourt.

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