Lonzo Ball will miss his second preseason game on Sunday night in Las Vegas, and it’s possible he won’t play again until the regular season.
Ball suffered an ankle injury on Monday against the Denver Nuggets. He returned to the game after the injury, but hasn’t played since that game. The Lakers are referring to it as a minor left ankle sprain.
“Well, he tried to do some stuff in practice yesterday and he couldn’t,” Lakers coach Luke Walton said after shootaround on Sunday. “Even before practice he was working with Miles and he was just limping around. It made no sense to try to have him play. If you can’t run and jump, there’s no reason to fight through that. We are just going to keep giving him treatment, and he will be day to day.”
Walton said it is possible Ball could miss the rest of the preseason. He also did not rule out that Ball could miss the first game of the regular season.
“I assume he will be back by then,” Walton said. “If he’s not ready to play basketball and really cut and move and do everything that you need that ankle you need it to do for you, we are not going to play him.”
The Lakers face the Sacramento Kings on Sunday night in Las Vegas at T-Mobile Arena. Ball also missed the Lakers’ last matchup against the Kings, which was during Summer League. That day, he would have faced Kings draft pick De’Aaron Fox head-to-head as Fox was the Kings’ Summer League starting point guard. Fox comes off the bench now for the Kings.
When Ball missed the Summer League game against Sacramento, Fox tweeted an emoji of a person slapping his forehead with his palm. The Lakers considered Fox out of Kentucky for the second overall pick, before selecting Ball.
The two have a rivalry that goes back to last year’s college basketball season. Kentucky played UCLA during the regular season and lost, but when they met in the Sweet 16, Fox had 39 points and helped Kentucky to a win.
Follow Tania Ganguli on Twitter @taniaganguli