The Los Angeles Lakers have announced that former No. 2 overall pick Lonzo Ball will undergo arthroscopic surgery on his left knee on Tuesday. There is currently no timetable for his return, and the team will announce more details upon the completion of Ball’s surgery.
Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka said earlier this week at a press conference that he had heard from Ball’s representatives that Ball would be “100 percent” by training camp no matter whether he had surgery or not, and according to Sam Amick of USA Today, that remains true:
Even with Lakers announcement that Lonzo Ball is undergoing arthroscopic surgery to his left knee on Tuesday, I'm told he's still expected to be ready for training camp.— Sam Amick (@sam_amick) July 13, 2018
The left knee Ball is having surgery on is the same one that was part of a range of maladies that cost Ball 30 games during his rookie campaign, and it makes sense for his camp to get this taken care of now, because every day they waited was another day less that Ball would have to rehab and prepare for training camp.
Given that Ball is expected to be in a pitched battle with Rajon Rondo for the Lakers’ starting point guard job, he’ll need to be as healthy as possible if he wants to maximize his role during his sophomore campaign.
Every advantage matters in contests like this, and if Ball can’t rehab in time to win the starting job from Rondo, then the Lakers will also have to be extra careful to make sure he doesn’t push himself too hard trying to get his old role back at the expense of his health. Especially with Rondo providing insurance, there is no reason to risk the health of one of the Lakers’ best core players.
Still, there is no reason to believe that these knee issues will be a recurring problem for Ball yet, as there is a chance that surgery solves the issue and that Ball is unaffected as his career moves along, something that seems especially possible given that his effectiveness isn’t predicated on freakish athleticism.
We’ll have more updates after the surgery on Tuesday. Stay tuned to Silver Screen and Roll for coverage.
You can follow Harrison on Twitter at @hmfaigen.