Rookie-of-the-Year Candidate LaMelo Ball Prepares for His Return

After little more than a month since being diagnosed with a fractured wrist, Rookie-of-the-Year candidate LaMelo Ball has been cleared for individual workouts.

Ball injured his right wrist on a drive against the Los Angeles Clippers during their March 20 game.

In an official release, the Hornets said that Ball’s wrist was re-examined on Monday by Dr. Michelle Carlson of The Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City.

The 19-year-old rookie’s cast was removed and a CT scan confirmed his wrist was healed.

Though Ball has been cleared to work out, he’ll have to be able to use his right hand just as well as his left before he gets any game time.

“I’ve pretty much already started,” Ball said of exercising the hand. “This morning, I had treatment — trying to bend it down, bend it up, all that type of stuff.”

Ball said at the time the injury occurred, he thought it was no big deal.

“I thought it was a sprain — nothing too big — so I’d finish out the game. Probably ice it after the game and be cool for the next one. It started irritating more and more,” said Ball. “I still didn’t think it was broken.”

Shortly after the injury Ball had surgery in which a pin was placed in his wrist band then it was set in a cast.

Ball is one of the top contenders for Rookie of the Year, averaging 15.9 points, 5.9 rebounds, and 6.1 assists per game for the Hornets.

After coming off the bench at the start of the season, coach James Borrego finally made Ball a starter and the Hornets thrived.

Still, the team isn’t rushing to get Ball back on the court.

“Nothing is written in stone. There’s an opportunity to get him back (now that) the cast is off,” coach Borrego said according to the Charlotte Observer.

“Hopefully, we see significant (gains) day-to-day in flexibility. He’s young and I’m hopeful that helps that that wrist gets back to normal.

“The number one thing is it doesn’t sound like he can injure this thing further.