The Charlotte Hornets were dealt a devastating blow last week when rookie sensation LaMelo Ball sustained a fractured left wrist in a Mar. 20 matchup with the Los Angeles Clippers.
Ball — though seeking a second opinion — would be ruled out for the remainder of the 2020-21 campaign, leaving the NBA world disappointed that the young star’s showmanship would have to be shelved until next season.
Fortunately, both the fans and Ball himself have a legitimate chance to be spared from such a future, as the fracture was less severe than the team originally thought.
Hornets general manager Mitch Kupchak said Ball’s wrist fracture could heal in time for him to play again in this chase of a playoff spot. However, Kupchak cautioned that the Hornets wouldn’t do anything in managing Ball that could put him at risk.
“We don’t know if LaMelo is out for the season or not,” Kupchak said in a conference call with Charlotte media Friday morning. “There is a possibility (of Ball playing again), just based on other players who have had this injury, that maybe he does come back for some portion of the year.”
Charlotte is currently fourth in the Eastern Conference standings at 22-21, so the hope would be for the Hornets’ season to last long enough for Ball’s chances of returning to continue rising, even if the Hornets reach the postseason before he does.
That being said, Ball is set to be re-evaluated four weeks after undergoing surgery to repair his wrist on Mar. 23, with the final game of Charlotte’s regular season is May 16.