Los Angeles Lakers rookie point guard Lonzo Ball missed the team’s final four preseason games after suffering a sprained ankle. The injury lingered on longer than expected with many growing concerned about his availability for Thursday’s season opener.
Ball returned to practice last Thursday which gave the team some hope that there wouldn’t be any issues for Ball suiting up opening night. With just a couple of days left until they face the Clippers, Ball put a rest to any questions about his status.
According to Lakers Nation reporter Serena Winters, Ball said he is definitely playing on Thursday night:
Lonzo Ball said he's definitely playing Opening Night.
— Serena Winters (@SerenaWinters) October 16, 2017
This is obviously great news for the Lakers and Ball. He missed out on valuable development time by missing most of the preseason. Additionally, it sets back the team’s chemistry as Ball was unable to get used to his teammates tendencies before the start of the regular season.
Nonetheless Ball will be ready for Thursday barring any unforseen setbacks and there will be a lot of pressure on him from the beginning. He is one of the favorites to win the Rookie of the Year award and the Lakers are expecting him to elevate his teammates from day one.
Unfortunately for Ball, playing the point guard position means there are very few off days and he will have to take on Patrick Beverley in his season debut. Beverley is known for his aggressive, physical defense and he will be trying to take Ball out of his comfort zone all night.
The wait for the start of the regular season is almost over and, thankfully for the Lakers and Ball, he will be ready to go.