The Charlotte Hornets got off to a rather dreadful start to this season, falling to the second-worst record in the East at 4-11 entering Wednesday night against the Pacers. The only bit of good news for Charlotte was the recent return of LaMelo Ball, who missed the first 13 games of the year with a sprained left ankle he suffered in the preseason.
Ball had struggled shooting in his first two games back on the floor, but was looking to play his way back into his All-Star form of a season ago after missing nearly a month. Unfortunately, on Wednesday, the young star guard re-injured that same ankle late in a loss to Indiana on a freak incident in which he was slowing up after chasing a ball out of bounds and stepped on a fan’s foot, turning that same left ankle over again and coming away limping.
LaMelo Ball headed to the locker room pic.twitter.com/seMze6WPh1
— Israel (@iohandles) November 17, 2022
LaMelo Ball just rolled his left ankle stepping on the foot of a fan sitting courtside. pic.twitter.com/QdeXDrZNdw
— Bally Sports: Hornets (@HornetsOnBally) November 17, 2022
The official update from the team was a left ankle sprain, with the severity still to be determined.
INJURY UPDATE: @hornets guard LaMelo Ball left the game late in tonight’s loss to IND with a L Ankle Sprain and did not return.
— Charlotte Hornets PR (@HornetsPR) November 17, 2022
It’s a brutal sight for a Hornets team that has had little in the way of positives to start this season, as they were desperately hoping Ball getting back in rhythm would bring the team back to life as well. For now, they’ll wait with baited breath to find out how bad this re-injury is, with the hope being that it’s a mild tweak that won’t cost him much time, but to lose a player in this manner that late in the game is awful to see.