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Lonzo Ball of Los Angeles Lakers participates in first contact practice since spraining MCL

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. — Lonzo Ball went by way of his first contact practice since spraining his left MCL however has been dominated out by way of the All-Star break because the Los Angeles Lakers hope to offer their rookie level guard one other week and a half to recuperate.

Ball has missed 13 straight video games since struggling the damage on Jan. 13, and the purpose guard won’t play in the Lakers’ upcoming back-to-back set at New Orleans and Minnesota. While there has but to be an official willpower on Ball’s standing for the Rising Stars recreation on Friday, coach Luke Walton assumed his place to begin guard will sit that recreation out, too.

“We are not going to play him tomorrow,” Walton mentioned earlier than the Lakers flew to New Orleans. “With a back-to-back and a week off after that, the progress is great but it just doesn’t make sense to risk it right now.”

“There was some contact [in practice today] which is the first time he has really done that,” Walton added. “It wasn’t up-and-down, full-court scrimmaging [type of contact], but it was halfcourt defensive drills with guys getting after it. He looked good, but there is still a little discomfort.”

Walton mentioned the discomfort Ball felt will not be a setback or one thing that could be a concern to the progress the purpose guard is making. Ball had mentioned final week that he was working his approach as much as having the ability to run full sprints and bounce.

“No, not at all,” Walton mentioned when requested if the discomfort was one thing that was a serious concern. “He did the most since hurting himself today, and he didn’t pull himself out. He practiced the entire practice so the progress is good. No concern with that.”

Walton remained noncommittal about when Ball will likely be able to return to motion. The Lakers’ first recreation after the break is on Feb. 23 towards Dallas, which will likely be practically six weeks after Ball sprained his MCL.

“We are going to continue to treat him, and he will continue to come in and get work done and get shots up and when his body is ready, then he will play again,” Walton mentioned. “I can’t tell you if that is going to be the first game, or the second game or the third game [after the break]. Whenever his body is ready to get after it again.”

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