Is LaMelo Ball playing tonight? Latest injury update for Hornets vs Knicks, November 28, 2023

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

When the Charlotte Hornets take the floor Tuesday evening in New York to take on the Knicks for their In-Season Tournament game, they will be doing so without LaMelo Ball.

The Hornets have announced that Ball will miss the contest after exiting their loss to the Orlando Magic on Sunday with an ankle injury. This is hardly a surprise, considering the nature of the injury and the initial concern about Ball's ankle. The former third overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft was initially considered doubtful before being downgraded to out. 

While Ball managed to avoid any type of structural damage to his ankle, it appears the Hornets are going to be extremely cautious with the face of their franchise. This is the right path to take when it comes to Ball, considering that it happens to be the same ankle that was surgically repaired earlier this year. The decision-makers in Charlotte must keep the big picture in mind when it comes to Ball, as the future success of the organization is very dependent on his health and availability.

There is an additional reason why keeping Ball out of the lineup is the right decision for the Hornets. Tuesday's contest happens to be of the In-Season Tournament variety. While not officially eliminated yet, Charlotte is very unlikely to advance into the quarterfinal round, as a lot of things will have to go their way for that to be possible. With this in mind, there is absolutely no reason to rush Ball back into action for a game that will more than likely mean nothing.

Now, the next question in Charlotte is just how long Ball will be out of action. It would be best for all parties involved for Ball to take his time and make sure he is entirely healthy. This is a season of growth for the Hornets, even though the results in the win-loss column will not reflect that. Establishing the foundation for the future of the organization is priority number one in Charlotte, and that becomes more difficult if Ball re-injures his ankle by coming back too early.