Despite head coach Luke Walton saying he might be ready to go, Lonzo Ball will reportedly not be available when the Los Angeles Lakers take on the Sacramento Kings on Thursday, according to Brad Turner of the L.A. Times. Per Turner, Ball will re-evaluated on Thursday and remains day-to-day.
Update: Walton confirmed Ball will be out at shootaround on Thursday.
Following practice on Wednesday, Walton gave fans hope by saying there was a chance Ball would play in “limited minutes” Thursday if he was “feeling great,” but the Lakers have been cautious with their young point guard, and in a recent post practice interview, Ball said that it’s his mostly his decision when gets back on the court.
“It’s pretty much all on me. It’s my body so I know it best. They told me if I can go, I can go and it felt good today,” Ball said.
However, it’s more likely that the training staff advised Ball to have at least one more game to rest before making his highly anticipated return to the floor. Ball has not played in a game for the Lakers since March and just returned to full five-on-five practice last week.
But the fact that Ball is a full participant in practices and has looked good in scrimmage videos suggests he’ll back on the floor sooner rather than later.
During Tuesday’s game on TNT, Lakers reporter Allie Clifton gave an update on Ball, saying the 20-year-old point guard was “really close” to returning, according to Walton.
Ball’s next opportunity to play will be when the Lakers take on the Clippers at the Honda Center in Anaheim on Saturday, Oct. 6.
Rajon Rondo will also be watching from the sidelines on Thursday, as Walton announced that the 32-year-old point guard will rest against the Kings. As a result, Brandon Ingram will start a point guard.
Given that it seemed Ball was close to returning this time, it might be fair to expect he’ll have a decent chance to go on Saturday, but given that it’s just preseason, it would also be understandable if the Lakers’ wanted to be careful.