Lonzo Ball misses another game due to ankle sprain

Paola Ditto
Ottobre 13, 2017

The Lakers without Lonzo Ball is like the Rolling Stones without Mick, "Game of Thrones" without dragons, Trader Joe's without floral shirts.

They just aren't the same. He did everything but participate in the five-on-five scrimmage that closed practice.

Walton said Ball's injury is not worse than previously thought and that there has been no setback.

"It got fat and that is what set me back a little bit", Ball said.

Ball is questionable for the Lakers' preseason finale against the Clippers on Friday.

Walton did make it clear, though, that Ball is considered day-to-day, adding that "I assume he will be back" by the season opener against the LA Clippers on October 19.

"A lot of (whether he plays Friday) will depend on how he feels when he wakes up", Walton said. "I'm sure he's going to be sore later today". We'll see if there's any swelling in the morning. "There's not really an answer to be had until tomorrow".

Fortunately for the Lakers, Ball took a key step at Thursday's practice and seemed to be enjoying himself, even if he ended up on the wrong end of a half-court shooting competition with Kyle Kuzma. The injury, initially described as "mild", swelled up and restricted Ball's lateral movement.

"It has only been a week but feels a lot longer than that", he said. "Obviously still a little bit of discomfort, but I'm happy to be out here for the most part [of practice]".

Ball said pushing off his ankle is the most hard part of his recovery. "It made no sense to try to have him play".

In particular, Walton said the team missed Ball's defining trait: "the ability to make everyone on the court a threat at all times".

"I think Tyler (Ennis) and AC (Alex Caruso) have done a nice job filling in", Walton said, "but that's a special skill that (Ball) has".

Nonetheless, Walton felt that having Ball sidelined for 10 days cost the team some opportunities to establish continuity.

He averaged 12.7 points and 7.3 rebounds with the then-Defenders last season, and contributed 7.9 points and 3.9 rebounds to the Lakers' summer league entry that won the tournament championship in Las Vegas in July.

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