It appears that the Los Angeles Lakers may have dodged a bullet after X-rays on sophomore guard Lonzo Ball’s ankle came back negative.
The 21-year-old rolled his ankle pretty badly in the third quarter of Saturday night’s matchup against the Houston Rockets, and Ball had to be helped off the court. He was immediately rushed to a nearby hospital to undergo tests, and according to Bill Oram of The Athletic, Ball’s injury may not be as serious as initially thought. Nonetheless, Ball is still expected to miss some time because of the ankle issue.
While X-ray results were negative, this still figures to be a significant injury for Ball. Ingram missed seven games with a sprained ankle earlier this season and when Ball has been injured in the past, the Lakers have been extremely careful when bringing him back.
Ball played a huge part in the first half of Saturday’s contest, as the Lakers amassed an 18-point lead by halftime. However, the LeBron James-less Lakers team collapsed in the third, and eventually lost out to James Harden and co. 138-134 after overtime.
In 22 minutes of action, Ball contributed eight points (on 4-of-7 shooting), three rebounds, a game-high 11 assists, one steal, one block, and just a single turnover. The team struggled without his playmaking, which led to the come-from-behind victory for the Rockets.
Ball’s injury comes at a terrible time for the struggling Lakers, who are still without the services of LeBron (groin) and veteran point guard Rajon Rondo (hand), though the veterans are expected back soon.