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.
Charlotte Hornets star LaMelo Ball has suffered a serious sprain in his right ankle and is likely to miss extended time, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium. Tests show Ball avoided a fracture in the ankle, which required surgery last season, and a cautious approach is expected. pic.twitter.com/kciSB72aw9— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) November 28, 2023
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.