Lakers rookie Ball (knee) out through All-Star break
Los Angeles Lakers rookie Lonzo Ball took part in his first contact practice since being diagnosed with a sprained left MCL suffered Jan. 13 against the Dallas Mavericks, but he won't return to game action prior to this weekend's All-Star break.
"We're not gonna play him tomorrow," Lakers coach Luke Walton told reporters after Tuesday's practice. "With the back-to-back and a week off after that, the progress is great but it just doesn't make sense to risk it right now."
The Lakers will play back-to-back road games against the New Orleans Pelicans on Wednesday and Minnesota Timberwolves on Thursday before enjoying a week off and returning to action against the Mavericks on Feb. 23.
Ball has missed 13 straight games as a result of the injury. While his recovery continues, Walton expects the 20-year-old to sit out this Friday's Rising Stars game, though no official announcement of such has been made.
"There was some contact, which is the first time he's really done that," Walton said of Tuesday's practice. "It wasn't up-and-down, full-court scrimmaging, but it was half-court defensive drills with guys getting after it. He looked good, but there's still a little bit of discomfort.
"He did the most since hurting himself today, and he didn't pull himself out. He practiced the entire practice so the progress is good. No concern with that."
Ball has averaged 10.2 points, 7.1 rebounds and 7.1 assists in 36 games this season.
"We are going to continue to treat him, and he will continue to come in and get work done and get shots up and when his body is ready, then he will play again," Walton said. "I can't tell you if that is going to be the first game, or the second game or the third game [after the break]. Whenever his body is ready to get after it again."
--Field Level Media
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