Lakers to ease Ball in at start of training camp

NBA.com Global on Sep 20, 2018 06:48 AM
Lakers to ease Ball in at start of training camp
FILE - INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MARCH 19: Lonzo Ball #2 of the Los Angeles Lakers handles the ball against the Indiana Pacers on March 19, 2018 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Ron Hoskins/NBAE via Getty Images)

NBA.com staff report

The Los Angles Lakers seem as if they aren't about rush second-year point guard Lonzo Ball back into the mix at training camp.

In an interview with Spectrum SportsNet, Lakers coach Luke Walton said Ball will not participate in full-contact practice when the Lakers open training camp next week. Ball had arthroscopic surgery on his left knee in mid-July.

Here's more from ESPN's Ohm Youngmisuk on what Walton had to say:

"He will be in camp participating. He won't be doing full 5-on-5 contact at camp, at the start of camp," Walton said. "So we're starting to ease him into it again, play some one-on-one, things like that, half-court stuff."

"But with a player of his ability, and how much he's gonna be a part of our future, the conversation is ... take as much time as you need to make sure he's healthy. We won't rush him back at all."

When Ball had his surgery on July 13, the Lakers' official statement said: "Ball is expected to make a full recovery by the start of the 2018-19 training camp." However, that appears to not be the case come the open of camp next Monday.

The Lakers posted video on Sept. 8 on their website of Ball taking part in various summer workout drills, but he has not appeared in videos the team has produced from team scrimmages.

Ball played in just 52 games during his rookie season, but was back on the court in early June and said he was feeling "100 percent" following a knee procedure. Per reports, the former No. 2 overall pick received a platelet-rich plasma shot for the ailing left knee that kept him out of the final portion of the regular season.

In the 2017-18 season, Ball averaged 10.2 points, 7.2 assists and 6.9 rebounds per contest while shooting 36 percent en route to earning NBA All-Rookie Second Team honors.

Over the summer, the Lakers added veteran guard Rajon Rondo to a training camp point guard rotation that also includes Alex Caruso, Issac Bonga and Joel Berry II. Marquee free-agent addition LeBron James is a more than skilled NBA playmaker as well. He could easily initiate and direct some of the Lakers' offense in 2018-19.

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