While Ball initially thought he broke his ankle, an X-ray taken at a nearby hospital confirmed there was no fracture. An MRI the next day showed a fully torn ligament, which indicated a Grade 3 sprain.
Ball moved quickly through the early stages of his rehab. He used crutches for about a week and wore a protective boot on his left ankle for less time than that.
Ball began running on an underwater treadmill two weeks ago and last week he began work on an antigravity treadmill, but was limited because of the bone bruise.
Ball has missed 11 games and the Lakers have struggled defensively without him. In games they were partially or fully without Ball, the Lakers have given up an average of 123 points per game. Their defensive rating plummeted in Ball’s absence. Thursday’s game against the Houston Rockets represented the best defense the Lakers had played since his injury.