LaMelo Ball nearing return to action for the Hornets

National Sports

Charlotte Hornets guard LaMelo Ball, wearing a cast on his fractured right wrist, shoots before an NBA basketball game between the Charlotte Hornets and the Atlanta Hawks in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, April 11, 2021. (AP Photo/Nell Redmond)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Hornets guard LaMelo Ball has been cleared to return to individual basketball activity by doctors after having a cast removed from his right wrist.

It’s unclear at this point when he’ll be ready to play in a game.

Ball sustained a fractured right wrist during the Hornets’ March 20 game against the Los Angeles Clippers and has not played since.

Ball underwent further evaluation on his wrist Monday by Dr. Michelle Carlson of The Hospital for Special Surgery in New York. The cast was removed and a CT scan confirmed the wrist has healed.

Ball, the No. 3 overall selection in last year’s NBA draft, was among the leading candidates for Rookie of the Year honors prior to the injury. He won Eastern Conference rookie of the month three times and is averaging 15.9 points, 5.9 rebounds, 6.1 assists and 1.59 steals in 41 contests.

Ball currently ranks first in assists and steals among rookies, second in scoring and is tied for second in rebounds.

Since he was promoted to the starting lineup on Feb. 1, Ball is averaging 19.5 points, 5.8 rebounds, 6.2 assists and 1.7 steals in 21 starts while shooting 46.4% from the field and 42.6% from 3-point range.

The Hornets entered Monday night in eighth place in the Eastern Conference at 28-28 with 16 remaining the season.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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