Is LaMelo Ball finally back tonight? Hornets, Jazz injury report 2/22

Toronto Raptors v Charlotte Hornets
Toronto Raptors v Charlotte Hornets / Jared C. Tilton/GettyImages

The Hornets are finally back in action Thursday night, out in Utah to face the Jazz at 10 pm EST. It’s their first game in eight days after the NBA all-star break. Charlotte comes out of the break riding a three-game winning streak, their longest of the year.

It’s only the second time all season the team has even won back-to-back games, so it’s fair to say they’re as hot and playing as well as they have been all season. It’s fair to wonder if the break came at the worst possible time, killing what little momentum the team had finally gained.

But the counterargument to that logic was that the break should give the Hornets, and especially LaMelo Ball, plenty of time to rest and get healthy. So how do things stand as we begin the second half of the NBA season?

Hornets injury report

Unfortunately, even with the time off, there is no change in statuses for the Hornets' injured players. LaMelo Ball (ankle) and Mark Williams (back) are both still listed as ‘Out’ for Thursday night’s game in Utah.

The Williams news is not surprising as we are still weeks away from a reevaluation for his back injury. But the LaMelo news is pretty disappointing. Ball missed a huge chunk of games from November to January before returning for just seven games.

Then Ball went back out with ankle soreness and has been out since January 26th. The hope was that he’d be good to go out of the break and ready to build something with his teammates over these last 28 games.

Clearly, that won’t be the case and every passing day makes this look more and more like a lost season for Ball.

Jazz injury report

The Jazz have a completely clean injury report coming out of the break. The only player listed as ‘Out’ is Otto Porter Jr. who was traded to the Jazz at the deadline and has not joined the team. He’s likely headed for a buyout.

The 26-30 Jazz traded away several role players at the deadline for picks, and have been slumping with a 4-game losing streak. But they’re still within striking distance of the play-in tournament and will hope to make a late-season charge. The Jazz enter the game as 9.5-point home favorites.