Nearly two weeks after going down with an ankle injury, the Charlotte Hornets have provided an update on the status of LaMelo Ball, as expected. The team announced that Ball has begun working individually and will reevaluated again in one week.
Ball being able to take part in individual activities is a notable step in the return process. Being able to participate at some level rather than strict rest and rehab is somewhat significant. This could point in the direction of Ball falling on the earlier end of the return timeline rather than the longer one. The sooner Ball is able to return to the Hornets' lineup, the better.
There was a great deal of concern when Ball initially went down with the injury. Needing assistance to leave the floor, it was feared that Ball suffered a major injury to the same ankle that was surgically repaired earlier this calendar year. There was a very good chance that Ball could have been out for a not insignificant amount of time Being able to come away with just a sprain, even a severe one, and being able to avoid any complications with his previous surgery can be considered a positive outcome, all things considered.
As tempting as it would be for the Hornets to try and get LaMelo Ball back on the court as soon as possible, they need to understand the situation they are in as an organization. This was a team that was winning one-third of their games with Ball in their lineup and have lost three of four without him following his injury. It is hard to imagine this version of the team being that much better upon Ball's return, and that should play a factor in how his return from injury is handled by the team.