Hornets' LaMelo Ball attacking rehab

Roderick Boone, The Charlotte Observer on

Published in Basketball

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Decked mostly in comfortable attire that included sweat pants and padded slippers, players trickled out of Spectrum Center’s inner bowels one by one following a morning group workout.

Preparations for the Charlotte Hornets’ matchup with Indiana on Monday night were in full swing and the team’s star point guard remained in the weight room, pumping iron while on the long road to recovery. It’s a sobering reality for LaMelo Ball as he makes his way back from surgery to repair a fractured right ankle suffered on March 1.

“Oh yeah, it’s the worst,” Ball said Monday in his first comments since getting injured. “Not being able to play is always tough.”

Ball is using arm crutches to get around, and has his right foot in a walking boot to keep it protected. Although there’s not much of a silver lining, at least Ball’s latest frustrating ailment isn’t the same ankle that forced him to miss 27 games this season, and he expects to be healthy in time for training camp come September.

Still, he’s been sidelined on four separate occasions since initially spraining his left ankle during the preseason in October, with three of those absences related to the same injury. It limited him to just 36 games in his third season.

“Tough, probably annoying just going through it,” Ball said. “But (I’m) still alive so you can’t really be too mad. Just go through the rehab and that whole process and try to come out on top.”


Going down with a non-contact injury puzzled Ball at the time. As Detroit’s Killian Hayes guarded him, Ball simply dribbled behind his back, going from his left hand to his right. Ball’s right foot buckled when he planted and he collapsed, limping off to get checked out.

He was unaware at the time of the situation’s seriousness.

“I thought I popped it back in place for real because my ankles, we are already working on them,” Ball said. “I tried to walk on it, and we got to the back and it wasn’t really feeling right.”

Apparently, the previous three ankle sprains had taken a toll on Ball’s stability.


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