When the Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Dallas Mavericks in overtime more than one week ago, no one had any clue that rookie Lonzo Ball was injured in any way. Now, no one is sure when he’s going to return to the court.
Ball suffered a sprained knee late in the game and hasn’t played since, missing the Lakers’ last four contests. He won’t play in Tuesday’s game against the Boston Celtics and it is still unclear whether or not he will travel with the team for their upcoming five-game road trip that kicks off Friday.
Head coach Luke Walton reiterated he isn’t putting any timetable on Lonzo’s potential return. “No expectations. When he’s healthy, he’ll play,” Walton said following shootaround on Tuesday.
“As a coaching staff, we plan on playing the guys we have. Until the coaching staff clears him, that’s kind of our gameplan. We’re not trying, ‘Let’s do this until this game and then switch it up when Lonzo is back.’
“He’s on the treadmill doing work every day, doing what he needs to do, and when he’s healthy enough they’ll give us the green light to get him on the court.”
Walton also added that Lonzo hasn’t suffered any setbacks in his rehab, which is a good sign. The Lakers will continue to play things cautiously with Ball as they would rather not risk any long-term issues for such an important part of their future.
The Lakers have finally figured out how to win without Lonzo, winning their last two games after dropping the first eight he missed. Tyler Ennis, Jordan Clarkson, and Alex Caruso have all combined to offset his loss, but the Lakers would undoubtedly like to see Ball back on the floor once he’s finally healthy.
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