Storyline: Lonzo Ball Injury

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Lonzo Ball is set to return to the Los Angeles Lakers’ starting lineup on Thursday against the Miami Heat, following a two-game stint on the bench after a 15-game absence on account of a sprained MCL in his left knee. In LaVar Ball’s mind, the blame for that setback, along with Zo’s previous six-game absence with a sprained shoulder, belongs at the feet of the Purple and Gold. His reasoning? That head coach Luke Walton’s penchant for playing him in shorter bursts and resting him in between, rather than having him play through, put the Crown Prince of Chino Hills in peril. “So now you got him going 100 miles an hour then stop, 100 miles an hour then stop,” the Big Baller explained during a recent appearance on Delfi TV in Lithuania. “So now you start getting injuries. So now, people like, ‘Man he’s injury prone.’ ‘Cause y’all injuring him.”
3 months ago via ESPN

Ball, who will miss his 14th consecutive game on Wednesday against the New Orleans Pelicans, said on Wednesday that he could play right now if this were the playoffs. Instead, he will use the extra week during the All-Star break to mitigate any lingering discomfort in the knee. Ball, who sustained his injury on Jan. 13, will not play in Friday’s Rising Stars game. “I practiced yesterday, [and] it’s at a point where I can play, but it still hurts a little bit,” Ball said after the team’s shootaround. “So they want to just get that out and take this week, and we are playing good right now, so no need to rush it.”
4 months ago via ESPN

Ball was hurt in a game against the Dallas Mavericks on Jan. 13 and has missed six straight games. He has yet to go through a full practice but has recently been shooting, doing some treadmill work and lifting. The sprain limits his lateral movement. Ball has said that he won’t play until he can run. Head coach Luke Walton said Ball will have to go through a full practice before returning to play. The Lakers are currently on a five-game trip that ends in Oklahoma City next Sunday.
5 months ago via ESPN

Lonzo Ball will have to wait to play Russell Westbrook after the Los Angeles Lakers point guard was ruled out for Wednesday night’s game against Oklahoma City. Ball and Brook Lopez, who is available to play, were both cleared to practice by the team Tuesday. Ball, though, will miss his sixth straight game with a bruised left shoulder after he felt soreness Wednesday morning following a workout on Tuesday. The rookie point guard did participate in morning shootaround on Wednesday and will practice Thursday.

Even New Year’s Eve seems an optimistic timetable for Ball. That’s the day Ball is set to be reevaluated and Coach Luke Walton typically wants players returning from injury to get in at least one full practice. That could push Ball’s return into the next week. “There’s no target (date) at least from my standpoint,” Walton said. “The only thing that matters with him is getting him healthy. There’s no reason to try to target a date and get him back. Obviously we want him back as soon as possible but big picture and what he means to us. We need him to be healthy so once he’s back he stays back.”
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May 25, 2018 | 10:09 pm EDT Update
Privately, some members of the front office have been mentioning the same thing regarding the idea of taking a point guard, essentially saying that it wouldn’t make sense to select a PG given the current roster. This would seem to be another sign that the organization is confident in 2017 first-round pick Frank Ntilikina. Again, it’s worth noting that this opinion may not be uniform throughout the Knicks’ front office.