Los Angeles Lakers guard Lonzo Ball has a torn meniscus in his left knee, according to Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports, who reports that Ball should still be healed in time for training camp.
Charania reports that the injury is not new, and something Ball sustained at the end of his rookie season:
Ball was diagnosed with the injury at the end of the season and has gone through recovery options to treat the minor injury and find the best route for his long-term future, league sources said. Ball is expected to be ready for the start of the season, league sources said.
Ball received a PRP (platelet rich plasma) shot for treatment before being cleared to return to basketball activities earlier this month.
Ball missed 30 games with knee-related issues, which includes the 15 consecutive games he missed in January and February. The Lakers went 8-7 during that stretch, but were 11-19 on the season without Ball.
At the time he returned, Ball had told Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN that his knee was feeling good.
“I just got back [on the court],” Ball told ESPN at the Big Baller Brand Junior Basketball Association media day at Citizens Business Bank Arena, where he joined his father and brothers. “But I have been lifting weights. Nothing stopped me from doing that. I just got back on the court though, but everything is feeling good.”
This injury could not have been revealed at a worse time for the Lakers, who are trying to sell free agents on joining their young core starting at 9:00 pm PST tomorrow night (when it will officially be July 1 on the east coast).
It’s unlikely LeBron James and other stars will be making their decisions based solely on the current health status of Ball’s knees (especially when he’ll likely be ready for training camp), but the timing of this news certainly doesn’t help, either with the Lakers’ efforts at finding a deal for Kawhi Leonard or with selling their young core to free agents who might want to join on.
This is a developing story, and will update as information becomes available. You can follow Harrison on Twitter at @hmfaigen.