LaMelo Ball's downfall early on in his career with the Charlotte Hornets has been injures. Once again, the young All-Star guard has found his way onto the Hornets' injury report with no clear return date following an ankle injury.
According to The Athletic's Shams Charania, Ball has suffered a serious sprain in his right ankle and will miss an extended period of time. The good news is that the former third overall pick avoided a fracture in his ankle, an injury that ultimately ended his 2022-23 season.
Ball is currently in a walking boot and crutches as a result of this new ankle sprain.
In Charlotte's most recent game on Sunday against the Orlando Magic, Ball suffered an ankle injury after an awkward landing on a layup attempt over Paolo Banchero. LaMelo was forced to leave the game with help from the Hornets trainers and players.
The Hornets are now set to be without Ball for a chunk of time, which does not bode well for their immediate future. LaMelo has been the Hornets main source of offensive production through the early portion of the schedule, as he has averaged 24.7 points, 8.2 assists, and 5.5 rebounds per game while shooting 38.8 percent from three-point range.
Without Ball, Charlotte will turn to Terry Rozier to lead things in the backcourt with rookie Brandon Miller, Theo Maledon, and veteran Ish Smith all seeing their workloads increase.
At 5-10 on the season, this injury could not have happened at a worse time for Ball and the Hornets. Miles Bridges recently returned from his suspension, Rozier just returned from injury, and the team has won two of their last three games following a four-game losing skid. Injuries have played a huge role in the Hornets' demise in recent years, as they never seem to be able to have their entire starting group available at the same time.
The Hornets are expected to provide more details on LaMelo Ball's injury and his timetable for recovery later in the week.