Walton: Lonzo may not return to Lakers this year

Los Angeles Lakers coach Luke Walton said Friday it's possible Lonzo Ballwill miss the remainder of the season as he deals with a bone bruise related to a Grade 3 ankle sprain he suffered Jan. 19.

Walton says Ball is not close to a return and hasn't done anything outside of dribbling drills and standstill shooting since suffering the injury.

Ball will be re-evaluated Saturday by doctors, the Lakers said.

Walton said he has not spoken to Ball about sitting out the remainder of the regular season, but the coach is contemplating not having the former No. 2 pick out of UCLA back in the lineup.

"Lonzo hasn't had himself an offseason yet, as far as development, which is a huge part of when you get better at this level," Walton said, referring to Ball being sidelined in the summer of 2018 following knee surgery. "And where we're at now, and not looking like he's close to being able to play yet, then, it's almost getting to the point where the true value comes from, 'Let's get him as healthy as possible so he has however many months this summer to really expand and keep working on his game.'"

Should Ball progress in his rehabilitation, Walton wouldn't even predict a potential return date for him.

"We won't even have the conversation until we've had a week's worth of practice with him and whatnot. So like I said, he's not close to that," Walton reiterated. "What you guys see right now is the most he's been doing on the court."

Ball injured his ankle at Houston, and the initial timetable for his recovery given by the team was four to six weeks.

In his second season, Ball has averaged 9.9 points 5.4 assists and 5.3 rebounds in 47 games for the Lakers (30-35).



Related Video
Pippen: Lakers managing LeBron's minutes is great move
Pippen: Lakers managing LeBron's minutes is great move
Scottie Pippen says the Lakers closely managing LeBron James' minutes for the remainder of the season will benefit them in the long run.
Copyright © 2020 ESPN Internet Ventures. All rights reserved.