Lonzo Ball smiles during practice at the UCLA Health Training Center on Feb. 7, 2018.
(Ty Nowell/Lakers.com)

Injury Update: Lonzo Ball

by Joey Ramirez
Digital Reporter

Three weeks have come and gone since Lonzo Ball last suited up for the Lakers.

The second-overall draft pick has been dealing with a sprained left MCL and will miss his 12th straight game on Thursday.

“I can’t take off like full sprints, and I can’t jump either,” Ball said at Wednesday’s practice. “When I can do those things, that’s when hopefully I can get on the court.”

Ball admitted that he did not expect to be out for this long. He aggravated the injury while doing some light rehab work in Toronto at the end of January, though he didn’t consider that a major setback.

Ball’s workload has largely been restricted to shooting thus far. But he had planned to do more non-contact, lateral-movement drills with assistant coach Miles Simon on Wednesday.

The Lakers initially struggled without their point guard, who is averaging 10.2 points, 7.1 rebounds and 7.1 assists this season.

They lost their first eight games without Ball, but have gone 7-2 since.

Ball’s teammate and close friend, Kyle Kuzma joked about how much it would mean to have Lonzo back in the lineup.

“I mean, we’re winning more without him so I don’t know really,” Kuzma laughed.

One of the keys to the Lakers’ success lately has been the play of Brandon Ingram, who has thrived in three starts at point guard — all of which ended in victory.

Ingram has averaged 19.3 points and 6.7 assists in this sample, while shooting 53.8 percent from the field.

He has also done a nice job of pushing the offense to a high speed, replicating the pace that Ball likes to direct the team.

“They know what works: pace and defense,” Ball said. “They’re doing that. That’s why they’ve been winning.”

While Ball has been pleased with the way his team has played, he is still itching to get back onto the court himself.

“It’s pretty tough,” Ball said. “This is the most games I’ve ever missed in my whole life.”

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