Ball has minor MCL sprain; Lakers still cautious
- John Matiesen
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Rookie point guard Lonzo Ball's left knee injury, which sidelined him two weeks ago, is a minor MCL sprain that has a recovery timetable of up to three weeks, the Los Angeles Lakers said Saturday.
Ball was hurt in a game against the Dallas Mavericks on Jan. 13 and has missed six straight games. He has yet to go through a full practice but has recently been shooting, doing some treadmill work and lifting. The sprain limits his lateral movement. Ball has said that he won't play until he can run.
Head coach Luke Walton said Ball will have to go through a full practice before returning to play. The Lakers are currently on a five-game trip that ends in Oklahoma City next Sunday.
"He's feeling better every day," Walton said. "I wouldn't be surprised if within a couple of days, a week, whatever it is, they say he's ready to start practicing again.
"But we are still training and approaching it as if it's long-term. We are not making any plans as if he's coming back tomorrow."
Walton said the team will not rush Ball's return.
"He will be back when he is ready to play," Walton said. "When that is, I can't tell you -- whenever his knee feels good. ... We are not going to rush him back. Once he gets cleared, it will be about getting him back to practice and then seeing how he feels after that."