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Report: Hornets PG LaMelo Ball avoids fracture, expected to miss several weeks with ‘severe’ ankle injury

Charlotte’s best player is going to be out for some time.

Charlotte Hornets v Orlando Magic
LaMelo Ball of the Charlotte Hornets walks off the court in the first half of a game against the Orlando Magic at Amway Center on November 26, 2023 in Orlando, Florida.
Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images

Charlotte Hornets point guard LaMelo Ball is expected to miss several weeks with what is being defined as a “severe” ankle injury, according to Shams Charania. Ball did not suffer a fracture, so he’s going to avoid surgery. However, he is likely going to be out for the rest of the 2023 calendar year.

Ball, who won the Rookie of the Year award in 2021, has been averaging 24.7 points and 8.2 assists per game to start the 2023-24 season. Sadly, that production hasn’t helped the Hornets much in the standings. Charlotte sits near the bottom of the Eastern Conference and is unlikely to make much headway with the star point guard sidelined.

With Ball likely to be out for the next month at a minimum, Terry Rozier and James Bouknight will step into larger roles in the backcourt for Charlotte. Both are solid targets for fantasy and DFS lineups, although Rozier likely has more value as a playmaker. As Bouknight gets more minutes, we’ll see if he can take more ownership of this offense.

The Hornets hold a top-14 protected first-round pick in the 2024 NBA Draft, and Ball’s injury likely helps them retain that selection. If the Hornets were to land outside of the lottery, that pick would go to the Spurs.