L.A.

Lonzo Ball participates in full-contact practice, won’t play in preseason opener

Lonzo Ball, Lakers

The second-year guard has taken another step forward in his recovery from offseason knee surgery but won’t be on the floor Sunday against the Nuggets.

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Lakers second-year point guard Lonzo Ball has continued to make steady progress in his recovery from offseason arthroscopic knee surgery over the last few weeks.

Ball has taken another step forward on Thursday as head coach Luke Walton voiced that the 20-year-old participated in full-contact practice, but will not play in the preseason opener on Sunday night against the Denver Nuggets, according to Ryan Ward of ClutchPoints.

This is another important development in his rehab as this was the first time that Ball has fully participated on the court with his teammates as he had previously only gone through 1-on-1 scrimmages. In the weeks leading up to the start of training camp, he had increased his level of activity but had yet to work toward full-contact basketball activities. 

Los Angeles likely wants to move Ball along at his own pace in order to ensure that he is physically ready to go for an entire game when his body is able to do so. There is no rush from the coaching staff to get him back in the fold before he’s ready, especially with the team already having a stable option at point guard in his place with Rajon Rondo.

Walton had already stated during media day on Monday that Rondo would be handling the starting duties while Ball works his way back. There has been no timetable for when he will be able to play, but this development is clear that he’s on the right path toward that quite soon. In the meantime, the focus around Ball will be getting his body physically prepared for the rigors that an NBA season brings as he has taken those steps building a stronger physic over the last several months of the offseason. This is an ongoing process that the Lakers will continue to keep an eye on.

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Bob Garcia IV

Staff Writer at Sports Out West
Bob Garcia IV is a sports journalist from Southern California. He's currently the Los Angeles Lakers beat writer for Sports Out West. He is also currently covering the NBA and NFL for ClutchPoints. He was previously the beat writer for LA Rams Report for Scout.com, which is a website dedicated to covering the Rams. Lastly, he was a reporter for the award-winning newspaper, The Daily Sundial, at California State University, Northridge. You can follow him on Twitter, @BGarciaivsports.
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