As the Los Angeles Lakers embarked on this five-game road trip, there was hope that point guard Lonzo Ball would be able to make a return at some point. Now that hope is beginning to fade.
Ball has already missed the first two contests, and Tuesday represented his next chance to take part in a full practice as the Lakers have just one day off in between each of the final three games.
Unfortunately for the Lakers and Ball, he did not practice on Tuesday and will not play in Wednesday’s game against the Orlando Magic, according to Tania Ganguli of the L.A. Times:
Lonzo Ball will be out for tomorrow’s game in Orlando. He’s not practicing today.
— Tania Ganguli (@taniaganguli) January 30, 2018
This news doesn’t necessarily mean that Ball will definitely miss the remainder of the road trip, but the odds aren’t great. Head coach Luke Walton prefers injured players to participate in at least one full practice before returning to games, and Ball won’t have that chance.
Lonzo has been doing more on-court work recently, but the issue with a sprained MCL is lateral movement and Ball obviously hasn’t yet been able to get that movement back pain free.
The Lakers have been able to be somewhat successful recently without Ball as the likes of Jordan Clarkson and Alex Caruso have stepped up in his absence. Additionally, Brandon Ingram and Kyle Kuzma have also taken on some more of the playmaking duties.
Following Wednesday’s game in Orlando, the Lakers will travel to Brooklyn on Friday and Oklahoma City on Sunday before finally returning home to face the Phoenix Suns next Tuesday. Whether or not Ball is able to make his return in any one of these games remains to be seen.
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