Hornets could see return of LaMelo Ball on Friday vs Spurs

Washington Wizards v Charlotte Hornets
Washington Wizards v Charlotte Hornets / Jacob Kupferman/GettyImages

There have not been a lot of positives for the Charlotte Hornets this season, but it appears they are about to get their first stroke of good luck in quite some time. Star point guard LaMelo Ball could return to the lineup on Friday when the Hornets take on the Spurs in San Antonio per a report from The Athletic and Stadium's Sham Charania and is currently considered questionable.

Ball has been out of the lineup since November 26th after spraining his right ankle. The worst was initially feared due to it being the same ankle that he underwent surgery on after suffering a season-ending injury last season. The worst was avoided as it was only a sprain that kept him out of action for a month and a half rather than a much longer period.

It has been a rough go for the Hornets without Ball, as they have a 3-17 record with him out of the lineup. This included a stretch that saw Charlotte lose 11 consecutive games in a stretch from mid-December into 2024. While Ball's absence is a very large part of why the Hornets have played this poorly over their past 20 games, it is not exactly like they were lighting the world on fire with him in the lineup. Charlotte was a little bit more competitive with Ball, going 5-10 over the first 15 games of the season, but this was not all that encouraging from a big-picture standpoint.

When Ball does eventually return to the court, whether it is Friday or a later date, it will provide a much-needed boost to the Hornets' lineup, which should result in winning more frequently than their current rate of 22.9%. With that being said, it is unlikely that this team will win enough to be in the mix for any version of postseason play, as the flaws in how this team was constructed have been thoroughly exposed during Ball's absence. There is a world where Charlotte could go on a little run with Ball, but it ultimately seems like they are destined to go through a roster reset before the deadline, with the organization planning for their future beyond this season.