Charlotte Hornets guard LaMelo Ball couldn’t put any weight on his right ankle as he left the Hornets 130-117 loss to the Orlando Magic late in the second quarter.
Ball exited the game after going up for a layup against Orlando’s Paolo Banchero.
INJURY UPDATE: @hornets guard LaMelo Ball left the game in the 2Q tonight in Orlando with a right ankle strain, he will not return.
— Charlotte Hornets PR (@HornetsPR) November 27, 2023
The Hornets got a brief glimpse of what could have been with their starting lineup at full strength, leading 33-25 after one quarter, and aiming for their third straight win. Ball’s injury took the wind out of the Hornets’ sails, as Charlotte turned the ball over 18 times leading to 28 Magic points off those turnovers.
Franz Wagner led Orlando with 30 points, and former North Carolina Tar Heels guard Cole Anthony had 30 of his own off the bench.
Charlotte had three players with 20 or more trying to pick up the slack from LaMelo, as Miles Bridges led with 23 points, Terry Rozier returned from injury adding 22, and Brandon Miller poured in 20 points.
Ball’s injury occured on the same ankle which kept him out from February 28th through the rest of last season. During the preseason, Ball said he was planning on wearing ankle braces to help curb injuries, but he told a different tale to WFNZ’s Walker Mehl:
Talked w/ LaMelo at Spectrum Center on Wed last week. Aired a few of his comments on @wfnz.
He confirmed he hasn’t worn ankle braces all season. Said it “hurt for real.” He tried practicing w/ ankle braces and said he “couldn’t do it.”
Did say he’s been “taped up” this season.
— Walker Mehl (@WalkerMehl) November 27, 2023
The Hornets (5-10) return to action on Tuesday in New York facing the Knicks in their final game of pool play of the NBA’s In-Season Tournament. Catch the coverage on Sports Radio 92.7 WFNZ beginning at 6:30 PM, with tip-off at 7:30 PM.
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