Hornets goalie LaMelo Ball, one of the NBA’s top rookies in 2020-21, is considering an extended absence after sustaining an injury to his shooting hand.
Ball was injured Saturday night in the Hornets’ loss to the Clippers in Los Angeles.
The 19-year-old has become a stalwart of the franchise after being drafted third overall by the Hornets in the last offseason. His passing and pace earned him early recognition and ultimately a place in the starting lineup. Ball played in Charlotte’s 41 games (21 starts) before her injury.
What’s next for Ball? Here’s everything we know about his injury and the latest news on when he could return to the pitch.
What is LaMelo Ball’s injury?
The Hornets announced on Sunday this Ball sustained a bone fracture on his right wrist. Sources told Wojnarowski and The Hornets beat the writer Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer that the fracture is near Ball’s right thumb. Bonnell reported that an initial X-ray taken in Los Angeles did not reveal the fracture, but an MRI taken in San Antonio, where the Hornets will face the Spurs on Monday night, did.
Ball was injured during a basket practice in the first half of Charlotte’s 125-98 loss to the Clippers. He was injured on the journey and hit the ground. He landed on his right hand and wrist.
The rookie was in obvious discomfort as he made one of two free throws.
The ball stayed in the game but played the second half with a wrap on his injured wrist and thumb, Bonnell reported.
How long will LaMelo Ball be away?
The Hornets have listed Ball as indefinitely out, but Wojnarowski reported on Sunday evening Ball is expected to be ruled out for the remainder of the season following his visit with Dr Michelle Carson at New York City Special Surgery Hospital this week.
On Tuesday, the Hornets announced that Ball had undergone successful surgery on his fractured right wrist. His wrist will be immobilized and he will be reassessed in four weeks.
The injury is obviously a big blow to the Hornets ‘rotation, but Charlotte has depth with Terry Rozier and Devonte’ Graham. Shooting goalkeeper Malik Monk should also get extra minutes on the bench.
The only other guards listed on Charlotte’s list are two-way players Nate Darling and Grant Riller. It was not immediately clear whether the Hornets would look to add a guard before the March 25 trade deadline with the NBA.
LaMelo Ball statistics for the 2020-21 season
- 15.9 points per game
- 6.1 assists per game
- 5.9 rebounds per game
- 1.6 steals per game
- 2.8 turnovers per game
- 28.6 minutes per game
- 45.1 percent shot
- 37.5% 3-point shooting
- 78.9% free throw shooting