The Hornets may be without All-Star point guard LaMelo Ball for a while — again.
Ball already missed the first 13 games after suffering a Grade 2 left ankle sprain in the preseason. He finally returned Saturday … then re-injured the ankle in Wednesday’s loss to the Pacers.
That happened late in the fourth quarter, when he had already compiled what would be a game-high 26 points. But shortly after that, Ball had to exit for good.
“He rolled it on a fan’s foot is what I was told,” Hornets coach Steve Clifford told reporters. “Hopefully, it’s not bad but I’m sure we won’t know anything until tomorrow.”
The video shows that Clifford was correct. Ball turned the ankle after running into a fan, sitting in those courtside seats that are just a few feet away from the actual playing surface.
As evidenced by a home loss to a .500 opponent, Charlotte (4-12) has already been struggling under Clifford — his first season back after previously coaching the team from 2013-18.
They haven’t been shooting the ball well or defending well, and those are too glaring things to no do well.
Ball is their greatest hope, so losing him again for any amount of time will make things even more tricky. Along with scoring himself, he creates great opportunities for others.
Ball, 21, is 6-foot-7 and coming off an All-Star season, averaging 20.1 points, 7.6 assists and 6.7 rebounds in 75 games in 2021-22. He’s averaging 16.0 points in his two games this year.
Hoops Wire will have more updates as the news becomes available.
LaMelo Ball rolls his ankles after stepping on a fan's foot.
He had a game-high 26 PTS (5/8 3PT) & 6 AST pic.twitter.com/3I7OlcbYRV
— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) November 17, 2022