Lakers Rumors: Lonzo Ball Shut Down for Rest of Season with Ankle Injury

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistMarch 9, 2019

Los Angeles Lakers guard Lonzo Ball, center, is carried off the court by Michael Beasley, left, and Lance Stephenson after Ball sustained an injury during the second half of the team's NBA basketball game against the Houston Rockets, Saturday, Jan. 19, 2019, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)
Eric Christian Smith/Associated Press

Los Angeles Lakers point guard Lonzo Ball's season is reportedly over.

Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports reported Saturday that Ball was receiving a re-evaluation of an ankle injury that has kept him sidelined since Jan. 19. Per Haynes, "there's strong suspicion he'll also be ruled out the remainder of the season" following the checkup.

Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium later reported Ball had been shut down after meeting with doctors and the Lakers following his re-evaluation. Everyone agreed this was the best course of action "to regain complete health and come into the offseason ready for on-court and body training."

Tania Ganguli of the Los Angeles Times reported Friday that Ball has a Grade 3 left ankle sprain with a torn ligament. He is also dealing with a bone bruise.

Ball, 21, has had injury issues in his first two seasons. A knee injury limited him to 52 games during his rookie season, while he twice sprained his left ankle this season and was forced to miss time.

When Ball has been on the court, he's shown flashes, though he remains a work in progress. This season he's averaging 9.9 points, 5.4 assists and 5.3 rebounds per game, though he's shooting just 40.6 percent from the field, 32.9 percent from three and an atrocious 41.7 percent from the charity stripe, an inexcusable number for a guard.

He's also had to adjust to life with LeBron James, who often handles the facilitating duties in L.A.'s half-court offense.

The Lakers' young players have adapted differently. Brandon Ingram, who is also out injured, has struggled to find his ideal role. Kyle Kuzma has played well. Josh Hart has been buried in the team's rotation. Ball has been a nice role player when he's been healthy, though he's yet to emerge as the star-in-the-making he was selected No. 2 overall in the 2017 NBA draft to be.

That leaves open the possibility that some of those young players, or all, could eventually be traded for a superstar player to pair with James.

Expect Rajon Rondo and Hart to maintain significant roles in the Lakers offense with Ball out.


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