By Matt Johnson
on Wednesday, February 14th
Los Angeles Lakers point guard Lonzo Ball last took the court on Jan. 13 against the Dallas Mavericks. Now after more than a month-long absence due to a sprained MCL, Ball expects to return to the court after the All Star Break on Feb. 23 against the same Mavericks team.
Ball, who told reporters he still experiences some discomfort when he pushes off on his left knee, anticipates an immediate return after the All Star Break. While he will not participate in All Star weekend, the week off should give Ball a little more time to rest and come back closer to 100 percent.
Upon Ball's return to the court, he should see limited minutes to start out as the team works him back into game shape. Before the injury, Ball averaged over 34 minutes per game. Now with the ligament injury and the team's acquisition of Isaiah Thomas, fantasy owners and Lakers fans should expect a lighter workload for the rookie in early March.
The acquisition of Thomas, who will split some minutes with Ball and also play alongside him at times, will take away from some of the usage rates Ball saw this season. Though scoring isn't his primary focus to begin with, as evidenced by his 10.2 points, 7.1 assists and 7.1 rebounds per game averages this season.
One of the best threats to go off for a triple double, Ball's return will be a welcome one for fantasy owners. While it may take time for him to adjust with Thomas, the two should post some good numbers when they're healthy and effective in the second half of the season.