It’s been a lost season for the Charlotte Hornets. Even with a win over the Detroit Pistons on Monday evening, the Hornets are just 20-43 and battling for ping-pong balls, rather than for playoff positioning. The team’s brightest spot has, predictably, been standout guard LaMelo Ball but, on Monday evening, Ball suffered a non-contact injury in the second half against Detroit.
LaMelo left the game after suffering a non-contact injury on this play pic.twitter.com/SdWDNIRSfK
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) February 28, 2023
Shortly after the game ended, the Hornets announced that Ball suffered a fracture in his right ankle.
OFFICIAL: LaMelo Ball suffered a fracture in his right ankle in tonight’s home game vs. Detroit.
Presented by @novanthealth
— Charlotte Hornets (@hornets) February 28, 2023
This is a rare instance in which the team simply announced something like this quickly after the injury was suffered and before national news-breakers could scoop the story. However, the Hornets did not list any kind of timetable for Ball’s potential return, leaving a great deal of uncertainty.
Further details will be needed to determine how long Ball will be out, but the Hornets have little to play for the rest of this season and Ball has suffered left ankle sprains on three different occasions this season. That could leave Charlotte with incentive to keep Ball on the sideline and, at the very least, it would be wise for the Hornets to be quite cautious with his recovery given the reality that Ball is the centerpiece of the franchise. Entering Monday, he is averaging 23.4 points, 8.5 assists, and 6.4 rebounds per game on the season and the Hornets will miss him significantly in what figures to be an extended absence.