The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported that Lonzo Ball will miss the remainder of the season due to his ankle injury on Saturday. The point guard sprained his ankle on January 19th in a loss to the Houston Rockets. A bone bruise diagnosed later in the recovery process complicated Ball’s rehabilitation.
Lakers point guard Lonzo Ball has been shut down for the remainder of the season, league sources tell @TheAthleticNBA @Stadium. Ball had his left ankle re-evaluated by doctors today and sides agreed on course of action.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) March 10, 2019
Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes first reported the likelihood:
Lakers guard Lonzo Ball has a re-evaluation checkup on his ankle today and there’s strong suspicion he’ll also be ruled out the remainder of the season, league sources tell Yahoo Sports.
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) March 9, 2019
Ball finished his sophomore season playing only 47 games after appearing in only 52 during his rookie campaign. In his second year in the purple and gold, Ball averaged 9.9 points, 5.4 assists and 5.3 rebounds per game while shooting 40.6 percent from the field and 32.9 percent from three.
On Saturday, the Lakers also announced that Brandon Ingram’s season will end early.
With the playoffs likely out of reach, the Lakers are smart to allow Ball to get fully healthy going into the offseason. The point guard was recovering from surgery last summer, disallowing him from working on his game. In a sense, the Lakers are deeming the offseason more important for Ball than the remainder of this lost year.
For the Lakers, this is just the cherry on top of an injury-plagued season. With Ingram and Ball shut down, the Lakers will have played their two young stars alongside LeBron James for a total of 23 games, during which they went 15-8. While injuries were not the sole reason for the disappointing year, they were clearly a major factor.