NBA Rumor: LaMelo Ball Injury

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LaMelo Ball returning vs. Pistons

Charlotte Hornets rookie star LaMelo Ball is expected to return Saturday against the Detroit Pistons after missing over one month with a fractured right wrist, sources tell The Athletic’s Shams Charania. Ball injured his wrist after drawing a foul on March 20 against the Los Angeles Clippers but returned to the game. After the injury, sources told The Athletic that Ball would be re-evaluated in approximately four weeks after undergoing surgery on his fractured wrist.

Once his right wrist collided with the Staples Center floor, LaMelo Ball could tell something was wrong. He just didn’t believe it was overly serious. “I remember going to the basket and then I kind of just stumbled on my foot and fell backwards,” the Charlotte Hornets rookie said Tuesday, speaking for the first time since his injury. “And when I went to fall on my hands the wrist just bent back in a weird way.” But he tried to gut it out regardless. He thought he was fine.

Haliburton, however, wasn’t happy to hear from people who were trying to boost his candidacy after learning Charlotte’s LaMelo Ball, the front-runner for the award, had fractured a bone in his right wrist and is likely out for the season. “It was kind of frustrating to see people tagging me in stuff and hitting me up,” Haliburton said. “Seemed like people were excited or something, and I hated that. I think that’s terrible. … I thought that was garbage.”

Why is LaMelo shutting it down now? We’re six weeks out from the original injury, and questions were starting to arise about his future there. Few NBA executives are surprised by this news, and even fewer who have spoken with The Athletic believe this is wholly about the injury. There has been an assumption throughout league offices that from the time Ball injured his foot, he was going to shut it down. That’s not to say the foot injury is illegitimate.

Having said that, the early indications from scouts that I’ve talked to have been largely positive. He’s put his head down and worked since he’s been in Australia. People who have come into contact with him have come away impressed with his maturity level after he’s had to deal with a lot of personal upheaval in his life over the last few years. His mother had a stroke. He was pulled out of high school. He’s traveled the globe trying to find a basketball home. It’s been a lot in the last 24 months. All of this occurring while achieving a level of viral internet fame that few people his age have received. And yet, sources say he’s adjusted to it all and is a good kid.

LaMelo Ball has shut it down for good in Australia with a foot injury, but still should be a top-three pick in June’s draft. According to a source, the Knicks never got a chance to see the 6-foot-7 forward play live Down Under. Brass had plotted the trip for this month. In Ball’s last two games in the Australian National Basketball League in late November, he struck for consecutive triple-doubles. Par for the course. Maybe it won’t matter. There’s no guarantee president Steve Mills or general manager Scott Perry will make the Knicks’ lottery selection in June. To their credit, Mills and Perry have assembled six first-round picks in the next four drafts.

LaVar Ball began a recent media blitz in Australia with a stop on The Daily Telegraph’s The Big Chat and was offered a chance to shoot down the rumors himself. Host Adam Mobbs asked Ball where they stood in regards to Ball’s injury and his future in the league. “Where we stand on that is it’s (dependent) on how the injury heals. You have to make speculation for the media. It keeps the buzz going…My thing is this, I said ‘Melo, if you 80%, don’t come back. If you’re 100%, whether there’s one game, five games or no games left, that’s when you come back. But don’t rush in and have people trying to push you to come back ahead of time.’”

LaMelo Ball out a month

Illawarra Hawks star and the projected first pick in next year’s NBA draft LaMelo Ball will miss approximately four weeks with a foot injury. Ball suffered a bruised foot in practice and was prescribed to rest by a specialist, which will likely keep him out of action until January. The NBL Next Star has had a major impact on the Hawks thus far, averaging 17 points, 7.5 rebounds and 6.8 assists in 31 minutes per game, dramatically improving his draft stock in the process.
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