Ball has surgical procedure: Will be evaluated again in four weeks

By Richard Walker

The Charlotte Hornets announced Tuesday afternoon that rookie guard LaMelo Ball underwent “successful surgery to address a fracture in his right wrist.”

The team said the procedure was performed at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City by Dr. Michelle Carlson.

Following surgery, Ball’s wrist will be immobilized and he will be reevaluated in four weeks. The team announced that “additional updates will be provided at that time.”

Ball injured the wrist after he was fouled on a drive to the basket in Saturday’s 125-98 loss at the Los Angeles Clippers apparently will put an end to rookie LaMelo Ball’s season.

Ball, a two-time NBA Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month, is considered out indefinitely but ESPN and many other media outlets reported after the injury was revealed Sunday that the injury would end Ball’s rookie season.

Based on the Hornets statement, Ball would be reevaluated on April 20; Charlotte has 15 games slated for after April 20 that run through May 16. However, It’s also certain the Hornets won’t be rushing their 19-year-old rookie back into action until they are confident in his short- and long-term health.

The favorite to win the 2021 NBA Rookie of the Year award, Ball has averaged 15.9 points, 5.9 rebounds, 6.1 assists and 1.59 steals in 41 games this season. Since becoming a starter on Feb. 1, Ball averaged 19.5 points, 5.8 rebounds, 6.2 assists and 1.7 steals in 21 starts.

The No. 3 overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, Ball was the only rookie in the last 60 years to lead all rookies in total points, rebounds, assists and steals at the All-Star Break.

Charlotte (21-21) concludes its five-game West Coast road trip on Wednesday at 8 p.m. at the Houston Rockets.