If not having LaMelo Ball out there for the first 13 games wasn’t enough, the Charlotte Hornets are set to prepare for worse circumstances. On Wednesday, in a 125-113 loss to the Indiana Pacers, Ball reaggravated the same ankle he hurt going into the season when falling on a fan.
The Hornets star was putting the finishing touches to his best game of the season after scoring a season-high 26 points on 10-of-16 shooting from the field and six assists. Ball was forced to go to the locker room before the Hornets ruled him out for the rest of the game and now, more than likely, the next couple of games. It was only his third game back since returning to the court.
Losing the 21-year-old again will only add to Charlotte’s early-season injury woes. Gordan Hayward has missed the last eight games due to a shoulder injury, Dennis Smith Jr. has missed the previous three games because of an ankle sprain, and Cody Martin, who only played for one minute the entire season, is out for four weeks after getting knee surgery.
After losing to the Pacers, Kelly Oubre sounded off on how the team copes with these injuries. The 26-year-old is averaging 18.2 points for the season.
“It’s very tough, but we have to be professionals about it,” said Oubre, per ESPN. “It’s the game of basketball, and those things happen. But people who are suited up and who are healthy enough to go out there, we have to go pick up that slack.”
PJ Washington also chimed in on things, reiterating that the Hornets have to find ways to win games. Charlotte is only 4-12 on the season, which is good for 14th in the Eastern Conference.
“We all know at some point everybody’s going to get back out there, and we can’t wait for it,” Washington said. “But right now, the problem is we’re losing games, so we’ve got to figure it out and start getting some wins.”
The Hornets will aim to turn things around on Friday when they play the Cleveland Cavaliers at 7:30 P.M.