The Los Angeles Lakers recently updated their injury status with regard to rookie point guard Lonzo Ball. The playmaking future star of the purple and gold has been sidelined with a knee injury which has kept him out of action for a lengthy stretch of games. Meanwhile, his team recently added a few veteran players while sending away some of their young talent. Among those additions was NBA All-Star Isaiah Thomas who is joining his third team in the past two seasons. So when will Lakers fans finally get to see Lonzo Ball on the court with his All-Star mentor?
It’s been recently reported that Lonzo Ball is “participating with contact at practice.” However, Ball will remain out of action until after the upcoming NBA All-Star weekend, according to Bleacher Report. That was the latest update given via L.A. Lakers head coach Luke Walton who also mentioned it’s “safe to assume” Ball won’t be playing in Friday night’s Rising Stars game. The Lakers’ rookie has now missed a total of 13 games as he’s been sitting out since January 13 due to a sprained MCL injury. It’s been one of several injuries that have kept the young point guard down as he’s also dealt with a shoulder sprain as well as quad, calf, and ankle injuries.
Lonzo Ball is back to participating with contact at practice, but will not play in games before the All-Star Break.https://t.co/tnGlPcZeXU— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) February 13, 2018
Still, the Lakers have been playing decent basketball without Ball in the lineup. Over the past 10 games, the team has a 7-3 record. They also had Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance Jr. during the bulk of that stretch. The team recently dealt those players to the Cleveland Cavaliers and brought in veterans Isaiah Thomas and Channing Frye. Thomas had a stellar debut, scoring 22 points on 7-for-12 shooting off the bench, but it was in a losing effort as the Mavs took down the Lakers 130-123. Frye did not participate in the game.
The addition of Thomas seems to benefit the team moving forward in more ways than one. Just based on his showing in that recent loss, having the veteran guard to help guide the team could be a boost. The Lakers are currently 23-32 with a few games to play this week before All-Star weekend. Thomas is also expected to mentor Lonzo Ball and the two may be paired as a backcourt combination. In addition to all of that, it’s believed the Lakers were looking to free up space by revamping their roster to potentially lure a few big name stars to play for them next season.
???? Luke Walton gives an update on Lonzo Ball's status heading in to the back-to-back, and discusses Brandon Ingram's hot 3-point shooting pic.twitter.com/BXcmLOnYuj— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) February 13, 2018
With that said, most fans, and of course Magic Johnson, believe that Lonzo Ball is the future of the franchise. Having him healthy and productive will be a big step in helping him start to grow into that role and flourish as the star he’s expected to be.