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LaMelo Ball expected to miss time with ankle sprain, per reports

A Grade 2 left ankle sprain is expected to cost the third-year point guard time during the regular season, per The Athletic.

NBA: Preseason-Washington Wizards at Charlotte Hornets Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

The Athletic’s Shams Charania has reported that Charlotte Hornets guard LaMelo Ball suffered a Grade 2 left ankle sprain against Washington and is expected to miss the start of the regular season.

Ball turned his ankle while being fouled on a layup attempt in the second half of Monday night’s preseason game. After taking the ensuing free throws, Ball checked out and headed straight to the locker room. Charania also reported that while he’s expected to miss the season opener next week, his return timetable will be based on how he responds to treatment in the coming days and weeks.

To round out the preseason, I’d imagine that Terry Rozier or Dennis Smith Jr. will start at point guard; Smith also becomes much more likely to be on the opening night roster as the only other natural point on the roster apart from Ball.

Obviously this is not ideal, but it certainly looked like it could’ve been worse when Ball went down last night. Hornets fans in favor of tanking the season might be getting their wish even sooner than anticipated given how the team has looked when Ball is on the bench during the preseason. Let’s hope for a speedy recovery for Melo.