The Los Angeles Lakers have been struggling in the most important part of their season. With 22 games remaining in the regular season, the Lakers are four games back of the eighth seed San Antonio Spurs.
Much of their recent struggles have been catalyzed by their defensive effort. The team has routinely given up strong starts to worse competition, forcing them to play from behind and more often than not, suffer a crucial loss.
That’s why, as everyone around the team has noted, the team desperately needs point guard Lonzo Ball back. Ball suffered a sprained ankle in a January 19th loss to the Houston Rockets. While initially given a four-to-six week timetable, a bone bruise has further complicated the issue for the second-year pro.
Head coach Luke Walton addressed Ball’s injury to members of the media and revealed that there is no updated timetable for Lonzo to return.
Ball is in Los Angeles getting treatment, and Walton is not sure when his second-year point guard will return to action.
“Nope, they haven’t given me a date,” Walton said, referring to the training staff and team doctors. “They just said they are working with him and they’ll let me know.”
While the information has been sparse, Walton said he keeps in touch with his young floor general:
Walton said he remains in contact with Ball to see how his treatment is going and keep his spirits high.
“I like staying in communication with the guys,” Walton said. “So, I check in with him, just make sure to see how he’s doing. I ask about whatever, where his mind is at and those type of things. But we don’t speak daily, no.”
The Lakers have been notoriously quiet about medical issues. Players have routinely been out longer than their original timetables accounted for without much of an explanation.
What’s clear is that the Lakers desperately need Ball’s energy at the point of attack, defensively. They do not have much more room for error.