When Lonzo Ball opted to undergo arthroscopic surgery in his left knee in July to repair a tear in his meniscus, the hope was that he’d be ready to go by the time training camp rolled around for the Los Angeles Lakers. As it turns out, that is not the case.
According to Mike Bresnahan of Spectrum SportsNet, Ball will not be ready for 5-on-5 scrimmages when training camp starts on Tuesday, September 25. Ball has worked his way up to 1-on-1 drills, per the report, but head coach Luke Walton doesn’t want to “rush him back at all.”
Ball’s decision to have a part of his meniscus removed as opposed to getting the damaged part repaired was so he could be back on the court in six weeks instead of six months. Last week would have been six weeks for the former No. 2 overall pick, but it’s clear the training staff wants to take it slow with him.
Ball missed 30 games with nagging injuries, including 15 consecutive games from January to February with a nagging knee injury. He also suffered a bruise on the same knee later in the year.
With limited options at the point guard position beyond Rajon Rondo, it’s going to be crucial that Ball is on the floor as much as possible in his highly anticipated sophomore season. Beyond issues with depth on the roster, it’s also important for Ball to get reps on the court.
Ball showed promise in areas that weren’t expected of him last season, but he also struggled in a lot of areas he was expected to thrive in, with shooting being at the top of the list. In 52 games for the Lakers, Ball shot 36 percent from the field, and 30.5 percent from behind the arc.
It’s going to be interesting to see how much his injury hampered his offseason development, if at all.
You can follow this author on Twitter at @RadRivas.