Ball sprains ankle but plans to play in Lakers' next game

NBA.com Global on Nov 29, 2018 07:25 AM
Ball sprains ankle but plans to play in Lakers' next game
FILE - DENVER, CO - DECEMBER 2: Lonzo Ball #2 of the Los Angeles Lakers warms up before the game against the Denver Nuggets on December 2, 2017 at the Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Bart Young/NBAE via Getty Images)

NBA.com staff report

Los Angeles Lakers guard Lonzo Ball suffered a sprained left ankle in Tuesday's (Wednesday, PHL time) 117-85 road loss to the Denver Nuggets. He does not plan to miss the Lakers' next game, though, when they host the Indiana Pacers on Thursday (Friday, PHL time).

Ball sprained his left ankle in the second quarter vs. Denver, briefly reappearing in the third quarter before sitting down for the night. He finished with seven points on 3-for-6 shooting as well as five rebounds and two assists in 17 minutes of play. After the game, Ball was adamant he would play in Thursday's (Friday, PHL time) game against Indiana.

However, the Lakers consider him day-to-day with his injury. X-rays on Ball's injury were negative. He wanted to return to the game after his injury, but coach Luke Walton held him out as a precautionary measure.

"I mean, I wanted to play," Ball said. "Coaching staff thought it was better for me to take a rest, so that's what I did. ... Gave it a go, and I guess I wasn't moving good enough for them, so they just pulled me."

When asked about his status for the Lakers' next game, Ball said: "I'm playing Thursday, yeah."

Ball appeared to injure his ankle when he was backpedaling and landed on a Nuggets player who was on the floor. Ball had tweaked the same spot on his left ankle earlier this season and after doing so on Tuesday (Wednesday, PHL time), banged his fist on the floor in frustration.

He then went to the locker room with 1:44 left in the second quarter and started the game in the third quarter. After missing a three-pointer to open the quarter, he grabbed a rebound and assisted on a Brandon Ingram dunk. At that point, Walton felt it best to hold Ball out the rest of the game, writes Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN.com.

"He sprained his left ankle pretty good," Walton said. "But he wanted to give it a go. But the way he was moving out there, it just didn't feel right to leave him out on the court, so we got him out quickly."

The Lakers are already thin at point guard, with veteran Rajon Rondo healing up from surgery on his right hand. Rondo was recently cleared to participate in some non-contact practice drills.

“It hurts,” Walton said of the team’s point guard injuries. “We have other guys we trust — Brandon [Ingram], LeBron — that can play that for us, but they do other things for us, too, so it’s not ideal.”

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