The start of training camp is quickly approaching just a few days away, which has shifted toward the health of second-year point guard Lonzo Ball in his recovery from offseason arthroscopic knee surgery.
During Thursday’s press conference, general manager Rob Pelinka stated that Ball has been medically cleared to participate in full basketball activities but has yet to play any five-on-five scrimmages, according to Joey Ramirez of Lakers.com.
“He’s been 100 percent cleared by our medical staff to return to full basketball activity,” General Manager Rob Pelinka said. “Because he hasn’t played NBA five-on-five for four or five months, there is — with any player who has surgery — a progression to come back. So he started that progression.
This is a significant but expected step forward as Pelinka had voiced earlier this offseason that the team expected Ball to ready to go physically by the start of training camp. However, he will won’t be a full participant as he works his way toward being able to play in five-on-five scrimmages. There isn’t any timetable for when he will make that transition, but it is clear that he is steadily on that path.
The Lakers have voiced that there is no rush in bringing him back into the fold as the team understands the nature of the surgery that he underwent. Coupled with that is the fact that he had dealt with nagging leg injuries throughout the second half of his rookie campaign. The team is looking to avoid that being the case once again as it prevented him from truly having an impact on the court for the tail end of the season.
If he’s unable to be ready for the start of regular season, the Lakers will look to lean on former All-Star point guard Rajon Rondo to lead the charge in the backcourt as the starter. There is still much that can change on that front in the coming weeks ahead of the season opener on Oct. 18 against the Portland Trail Blazers.
Bob Garcia IV
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