The Charlotte Hornets’ hard offseason took a turn for the worst last week when franchise stalwart LaMelo Ball was hurt in the third quarter of a preseason game against the Washington Wizards.
How does LaMelo Ball’s injury impact the Charlotte Hornets?
The Charlotte Hornets went 0-5 in the preseason and lost their most valuable player to a left ankle sprain, which will cost him games to start the season.
LaMelo Ball exited the game vs. Wizards with a left ankle sprain pic.twitter.com/luBqiWA0tk
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) October 11, 2022
Soon later, there was an update, but it’s still difficult to predict what the future holds for Ball and the Charlotte Hornets.
INJURY UPDATE: The results of @hornets guard LaMelo Ball’s MRI confirmed the initial diagnosis of a L ankle sprain. His return to full basketball activities will be determined by his response to rehab and treatment and further updates on his status will be provided as appropriate https://t.co/c70iE0k8X7
— Charlotte Hornets PR (@HornetsPR) October 11, 2022
After testing confirmed that Ball had sustained a Grade 2 ankle sprain, more information was made available.
Re: LaMelo Ball: A grade 2 sprain is also known as a partial tear. Other players to sustain G2 ankle sprains includes Mike Conley, Ja Morant, and Trae Young. The average time lost is ~7 games (~19 days) with the time lost virtually the same when just guards are examined.
— Jeff Stotts (@InStreetClothes) October 11, 2022
Ball suffered an injury on October 10th, and with a 19-day recovery period, he should be able to play on October 29th when the Charlotte Hornets meet the Golden State Warriors.
While the Charlotte Hornets and fans would prefer that Ball be available for a big game against the Warriors, who are the current NBA champions, the team would also be prudent to adopt a long-term approach with how they manage their franchise player’s injuries.
Before playing away games against the Chicago Bulls on November 2 and the Memphis Grizzlies on November 4, the Charlotte Hornets will host the Sacramento Kings on October 31. On November 5, they play the Brooklyn Nets in a Saturday night game when they return to Charlotte.
It is likely that Ball will make a comeback somewhere between October 29 and November 5 unless he experiences another setback. The Charlotte Hornets could decide to be conservative with Ball and have him return no later than the Nets game because there are two important home games on back-to-back Saturdays.
The Charlotte Hornets will attempt to fill the vacuum left by Ball for the time being until his return. Till Ball has fully recovered from his injury, Terry Rozier, Cody Martin, and Dennis Smith Jr. will likely share time at point guard.