Reinforcements may be on the way for the Charlotte Hornets.
LaMelo Ball has been upgraded to questionable for the Hornets’ matchup with Detroit at Spectrum Center on Wednesday night, league sources told The Charlotte Observer. Barring an unforeseen snag in pregame warmups, Ball would be on track to play after sitting out the past 11 games nursing a sprained left ankle, initially hurt in the preseason against Washington.
Ball re-injured his ankle at the tail end of his home debut in the Hornets’ 125-113 loss to Indiana on Nov. 16. He stepped on the foot of a fan sitting courtside while trying to chase down a loose ball in the closing minutes and hobbled to the bench before exiting to the locker room.
That was Ball’s third outing of the season after sitting out the first 13 games and it came four days after his debut in Miami on Nov. 12. Ball is averaging 19.3 points, seven assists and 3.7 rebounds and would immediately inject some life into a team that’s dropped 14 of its past 18 games and is in need of depth at point guard with reserve Dennis Smith Jr. having missed the past six games nursing a sprained left ankle.
His return would allow coach Steve Clifford to move Terry Rozier back to his starting shooting guard spot. Rozier has handled most of the point guard duties in Ball’s absence, especially with Dennis Smith Jr. also sidelined for the past eight games, and is averaging a team-high 37.1 minutes per game.