Injuries continue to pile up for the Lakers (25-22), who are currently tied with the Clippers for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
The team today announced that second-year guard Lonzo Ball will be out for 4-6 weeks after an MRI revealed a Grade 3 left ankle sprain. Ball sustained the injury in the Lakers 138-134 overtime loss to the Houston Rockets Sunday.
OFFICIAL: Lonzo Ball, who was injured in last night's game at Houston, underwent an MRI which revealed a Grade 3 left ankle sprain.- Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) January 20, 2019
Ball is expected to miss 4-6 weeks and updates will be provided as appropriate.https://t.co/fkAz9CXG5v
The injury occurred early on in the third quarter of the game as Ball drove and collided with Rockets forward James Ennis. In the collision, Ball's left ankle rolled, and he needed to be helped off of the floor due to the severity of the injury - he exited the game with eight points and 11 assists in 22 minutes of action.
Ball, who had yet to miss a game this season, is averaging 9.9 points, 5.4 assists and 5.3 rebounds while starting in 45 of the Lakers' first 47 games. He joins Rajon Rondo (finger) and LeBron James (groin) on the Lakers injury report, but head coach Luke Walton told ESPN's Dave McMenamin the team will not rush either veteran back into the lineup. James and Rondo have both missed the team's last 13 games.
The team returns to Los Angeles for five games: a four-game homestand that begins with a Martin Luther King Jr. Day meeting with the defending-champion Warriors and a meeting with the Clippers in which they will be the visitor.
The Lakers play 10 games before All-Star Weekend, and the timeline for Ball's return could put him back on the floor around the time the team returns from the break in the action.