Hornets guard LaMelo Ball has officially been ruled out for the season after undergoing surgery on his right ankle, the team announced in a press release.
Ball sustained a fractured right ankle, the team announced. With just 19 games left, it was always hard to envision Ball returning, especially since the Hornets will not be making the playoffs or play-in tournament.
It’s been a lost season all the way around for Charlotte, as Ball started the year on the injured list with a bad ankle. He then returned briefly only to injure it again.
When he did play, he played well, averaging 23.3 points, 8.4 assists and 6.4 rebounds in 36 appearances. Ball, 21, is one of the NBA’s tallest point guards at 6-foot-7.
But he could not save the Hornets in their first season of coach Steve Clifford‘s return. It began with forward Miles Bridges being arrested for felony domestic abuse over the summer, just before he was to become a restricted fee agent.
That case ended in November, but Bridges, one of the team’s best players last season, remains unsigned.
Meanwhile, Ball is always one of the Hornets’ greatest reasons for hope, but it appears that hope for this year has ended.
“It’s certainly disappointing because (Ball is) a major part of our team and we felt like we were rounding the corner,” forward Gordon Hayward said.
OFFICIAL: LaMelo Ball has undergone successful surgery to address a fracture in his right ankle.
— Charlotte Hornets (@hornets) March 2, 2023