Lonzo Ball Returns to Practice, is Questionable for Friday

LiAngelo Ball comes under the microscope as he follows brother Lonzo at UCLA

LiAngelo Ball is one of seven freshmen joining the Bruins but clearly is the most heralded because of the name on the back of his jersey

Ball and his coach, Luke Walton, still do not know whether Ball has recovered in time to play in Friday's preseason finale against the Clippers. He went through practice on Thursday, doing the most extensive work he had done since suffering the injury.

While Ball was sidelined, the Lakers made do with backups Tyler Ennis and Alex Caruso at point guard, a combination that helped them to a win over Sacramento on Sunday in Las Vegas. The Lakers have another week before they open the regular season against the Clippers on October 19, so the team could use that time to make sure their prized rookie is fully healthy.

Ball said after practice that pushing off of that ankle is still troublesome and while he wants to play, the training staff will have the final say. "That's what set me back a little bit". "It is my job and stuff and we took preseason into account and I am trying to get 100% and get out there".

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"It's a setback for sure", Walton said. If Ball's ankle doesn't improve enough by the opener, however, the Lakers will play it safe. We'll see if there's any swelling in the morning.

Ball was asked if missing almost 10 days of the preseason was a setback. "I feel like I could go out there and play".

The Lakers played without starting point guard Lonzo Ball, who missed his third game of the preseason with a sprained left ankle. While he played briefly in the second half of that game, Ball said his ankle, initially classified as a mildly sprained ankle, swelled up and that is why he has been out for almost a week and a half.

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"When we first hurt it, it didn't swell up right there", Ball said. "I started off hot, ended pretty cold".

The second-overall pick sat out of full-court scrimmaging, but was able to to participate in the rest of the session. "But originally we were just going to see how he looked, and he slowly got better and better, so he did most of the drills today". Ball had already been ruled out for the game, but the Lakers planned to see how his ankle felt after going through the workout to determine how to proceed.

"As long as it's not worse, absolutely", Walton said.

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