The Los Angeles Lakers have been without Lonzo Ball since he last played against the Dallas Mavericks on Jan. 13. Ball reported feeling soreness in his left knee following the 43-minute outing, and he’s been out of the lineup in the seven games since.
Ball is officially rehabbing a sprained MCL, and the Lakers are taking the recovery process slowly. The purple and gold next play the Orlando Magic on Wednesday, giving them two full days without a game before getting back on the grind.
The coaching staff plans on holding an optional workout for players on Monday before getting a full practice in Tuesday once they settle in to Florida, according to Lakers head coach Luke Walton.
Walton wants to see Ball making progress, but it comes down to the training staff’s call.
“I want to see [Ball] do as much as he can,” Walton said when asked what he hopes to see from practice. “That’ll be determined by Marco [Nunez], and how he’s feeling, how his knee’s feeling, but I’ll be interested to be in there and watch him work out, and see how he’s moving.”
Ball must first clear on-court agility drills before he’s back in the practice rotation, and with Walton stating that Lonzo hasn’t been “ramping it up” yet, the return seems further down the road than a comeback against the Magic.
“He’s been doing his routine, his work with Miles [Simon], and it’s been pretty similar to the last couple days. He hasn’t started ramping it up as far as the explosive or contact type of work,” Walton said.
The Lakers rattled off a four-game winning streak during the absence, but once against felt the sting of defeat in a lopsided loss to the Toronto Raptors. Having Lonzo back on the court would be great as the team begins to find its footing once again, but there’s no rush to roll the dice against the Basketball Gods and an ailing knee from the purple and gold.
*All quotes transcribed via Sportainment TV