How long is LaMelo Ball out? Ankle injury timeline, return date, latest updates for Hornets star

Hornets star guard LaMelo Ball cannot catch a break from the injury bug.

Just as Ball was starting to round into All-Star form after missing the end of the 2022-23 season with an ankle injury, the 22-year-old has gone down again. He suffered an injury to the same right ankle that limited him to 36 games last season in Charlotte’s matchup against the Magic on Sunday, Nov. 26.

This could be a significant blow to the Hornets, as Ball was averaging 25.9 points, 8.6 assists and 5.8 rebounds over the first 14 games of the season.

MORE: Redrafting the 2020 NBA Draft: Where does Ball end up?

How serious is Ball’s injury and when could he return to action? The Sporting News has you covered with the latest updates below.

What is LaMelo Ball’s injury?

Ball suffered an injury to his right ankle in the second quarter of the Hornets’ game against the Magic on Sunday, Nov. 26.

Ball was tightly guarded by Magic forward Paolo Banchero on a drive to the basket and landed awkwardly as he tried to finish a layup attempt. He came down with his weight on his right foot as Banchero’s momentum toppled him over Ball.

Ball had to be carried to the locker room and did not return to the contest. The Hornets ruled him out with a “right ankle strain.”

How long will LaMelo Ball be out?

Ball will have to undergo tests on his right ankle, and the severity of the injury will not be known until the results.

This is a concerning injury because Ball fractured his right ankle last February, which required season-ending surgery and limited him to just 36 games.

Ball has struggled to stay healthy throughout his first four seasons in the NBA. A wrist injury cut his Rookie of the Year campaign short in 2020-21, then a nagging ankle injury cost him just seven games in 2021-22.

Ball was looking like an All-Star again prior to this ankle injury, averaging 32.2 points, 8.7 assists, 6.7 rebounds and 1.4 steals over his last nine games.

MORE: NBA MVP Rankings: Where things stand through the first month of the season

Check back for updates as they become available.

Hornets upcoming schedule 2023

Here are the Hornets next five games of the 2023-24 season. It’s worth noting that two additional games will be added to the schedule once the In-Season Tournament quarterfinals field is decided.

Date Opponent Time (ET) TV channel
Nov. 28 at Knicks 7:30 p.m.
Nov. 30 at Nets 7:30 p.m.
Dec. 2 vs. Timberwolves 5 p.m.
Dec. 11 vs. Heat 7 p.m.
Dec. 13 at Heat 7:30 p.m.

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