LaMelo Ball Re-Sprains Ankle In Most Bizarre Way

Now we've seen everything. NBA players get injured in all sorts of ways on the court; it's a physical game. But it's hard to recall a time when a player has ever sprained his ankle by stepping on a fan's foot. That's unfortunately what happened to Charlotte Hornets All-Star LaMelo Ball in just his 3rd game back from an ankle sprain in the same foot. 

Ball was balling on this night, scoring 26 points with 6 assists, and hitting on five of his eight attempts from downtown. But the disastrous recurrence of the ankle sprain saw him in great pain before he left the game in the 4th quarter. 

He missed the first 13 games of the season after the Grade 2 sprain suffered in preseason. Now he'll have to recover all over again. It lends more credence to Ball's insinuation that he came back earlier this week despite not being quite ready.

"I probably wouldn't have played (if Dennis Smith Jr. hadn't gotten hurt)… You see one go down, you've definitely got to step up. It feels kind of (messed) up leaving your team out there. You've got to fight,” said Ball after his first game back. 

Making things worse for the 4-12 Hornets, backup point guard Dennis Smith Jr., as noted, has also missed the past two games with his own left ankle sprain. The Hornets have also been without Terry RozierCody Martin and Gordon Hayward for extended absences this season. And then, of course, there's the unseemly story of restricted free agent Miles Bridges, who is out of the NBA indefinitely.

Last year, Ball averaged 20.1 points, 6.7 rebounds, 7.6 assists and 1.6 steals on the way to his first All-Star selection.

Photo: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports