The Charlotte Hornets are once again holding their breath on LaMelo Ball, and they'll already be without him for at least one game.
The star point guard exited Wednesday's game against the Indiana Pacers after rolling his ankle on the foot of a courtside fan late in the fourth quarter. Ball did not return to the game, a 125-113 loss for the Hornets.
Ball, who finished the game with 26 points, six assists and four turnovers, was in clear pain as soon as his foot landed:
LaMelo Ball just rolled his left ankle stepping on the foot of a fan sitting courtside. pic.twitter.com/QdeXDrZNdw
— Bally Sports: Hornets (@HornetsOnBally) November 17, 2022
After the game, Hornets head coach Steve Clifford said the team wouldn't know Ball's full diagnosis until further testing on Thursday, via the Charlotte Observer:
“Hopefully it’s not bad,” coach Steve Clifford said. “I’m sure we won’t really know anything until (Thursday).”
One day later, the Hornets announced Ball would miss Friday's game against the Cleveland Cavaliers with an ankle sprain, but didn't address the impact of the injury beyond that.
A left ankle injury for Ball is the absolute last thing the Hornets want to see, especially given that he only made his season debut on Saturday due to a Grade 2 ankle sprain on the same leg. Ball sustained the injury during preseason and ended up missing the Hornets' first 13 games.
The Hornets currently sit at 4-12, and were 3-10 before Ball made his debut. It's an iffy roster outside of their All-Star point guard, and any hopes of sneaking into the playoffs are going to depend on him not missing many more games.