The Los Angeles Lakers appeared to lose a lot more than just one game to the Denver Nuggets when Lonzo Ball went to the floor holding his ankle in the first half, and was diagnosed with a sprained ankle after limping around in the third quarter.
But Ball told reporters after the 117-85 loss that he felt well enough to keep playing, but that his coaches wanted to exercise caution (via Spectrum Sportsnet):
“I wanted to play, but the coaching staff thought it was better for me to take a rest, so I did,” Ball said.
With the coaching staff seating Ball for the rest of the game, he finished with 7 points, 6 rebounds and 2 assists while shooting 3-6 from the field. He also received an X-Ray, which he said was negative, meaning his ankle sprain is just an ankle sprain, and nothing more serious than that.
With how gimpy Ball looked after returning, news that his injury was a simple sprained ankle should likely elicit some sighs of relief, but the flip side of that is that given how much Ball was limping, it seemed unlikely that he’d be able to play when the Lakers host the Indiana Pacers on Thursday.
Ball contradicted that line of thinking:
“I’m gonna play on Thursday,” Ball said, cutting off a reporter’s question about his health. “It’s just a regular sprain. I’ll get it treated and be ready to go on Thursday.”
This certainly means that Ball will want to play on Thursday, but the Lakers coaching and medical staffs will likely have to put their heads together and make sure they aren’t risking a worsened injury for Ball by allowing him to suit up. Because as much as it would hurt the Lakers to be missing both Ball and Rajon Rondo — who is out while recovering from surgery to repair his broken hand — it would hurt the team even more if Ball picked up a worse injury by trying to compensate for his current one.
Stay tuned to Silver Screen and Roll for updates on Ball’s health status heading towards Thursday. All stats per NBA.com and Basketball-Reference.com. You can follow Harrison on Twitter at @hmfaigen.