Per Ganguli, "Ball has been dealing with a bone bruise in his sprained left ankle that the team believes could extend his recovery past six weeks, according to two people familiar with [his] condition."
The former UCLA Bruin has averaged 9.9 points, 5.4 rebounds, 5.3 assists and 1.5 steals in 47 games this season.
The Lakers need Ball back as soon as possible.
Furthermore, Ball had been faring well in the month prior to his injury. He amassed a 16-point triple-double against the Charlotte Hornets on Dec. 15, and between that date and Jan. 17, the point guard averaged 12.6 points on 42.9 percent shooting, 6.0 assists, 5.9 rebounds and 1.7 steals. He also hit 36.7 percent of his three-pointers.
As Ganguli noted, the team defense takes a hit sans Ball, giving up 123 points per game when he has been off the court for the whole game or part of it.
The good news is that he seemed to be making progress in his rehab of late, with Ganguli noting that Ball was doing work on different types of treadmills within the past couple weeks.
The Lakers open the second half of their season on Saturday at the New Orleans Pelicans.