24 hours after LeBron went out with a high ankle sprain, we got more bad injury news. Immediately after bracing a fall, LaMelo Ball grabbed his right wrist and was in obvious pain. He returned to the game with tape around his right thumb and wrist, so Charlotte fans hoped it wasn’t severe. Unfortunately, Woj had a cold shower for everyone.
Charlotte guard LaMelo Ball — rookie of the year frontrunner — is expected to miss the rest of the season with a fracture to his right wrist, source tells ESPN. He’s seeking a second opinion to confirm the diagnosis.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) March 22, 2021
We don’t know the exact nature of the injury, but according to Dr. Brian Sutterer, all the most likely outcomes do not indicate a problem that would create long-term problems for LaMelo. If a bone break isn’t accompanied by soft tissue damage, it should heal nicely and not be a risk factor going forward.
Obviously, the bad news is that we are most likely missing out on half a season of the Rookie of the Year favorite. LaMelo has been electrifying. With him on the court, the Hornets became a league-pass must-watch. Currently sitting at no.8 in the East, the Hornets are 20-21, with the 9th and 10th Pacers and Bulls only one game back from them. But the Hornets are also only 1.5 games back from the no.4 Atlanta Hawks. Anything is possible in the Eastern Conference.
LaMelo hasn’t been the only reason for their success. Gordon Hayward and Terry Rozier have played really well, so this doesn’t mean the Hornets are now a lottery team. They can still make the playoffs, but it’s safe to assume the Hornets will be very conservative with LaMelo’s recovery. Making the playoffs and losing to Brooklyn, Milwaukee, or the 76ers isn’t more important than making sure the future of the organization is 100% healthy when returning to the court.