James Borrego happy LaMelo Ball could return to play this season

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Cody Taylor
·2 min read
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Charlotte Hornets president Mitch Kupchak on Friday left open the possibility that rookie LaMelo Ball could return to play this season following surgery to address a fracture in his right wrist.

Ball was initially expected to miss the rest of the season following the injury, but further evaluation showed that may not be the case. Kupchak said the hope is Ball will spend five weeks in a cast and then rehab the injury to regain flexibility and the ability to shoot again.

Of course, his timeline to return is not set in stone and could need additional time but the latest update offered by the team is encouraging. Hornets head coach James Borrego on Friday called it a positive step that Ball could eventually return to play this season.

We want to get Melo back here as soon as possible, but we’re going to be cautious. For me, I got to move the group forward and Melo will join us when he joins us. For us right now, we just got to continue to improve. I coach the group that is in front of me and Melo is going to be a part of this. He is going to be our biggest cheerleader here in a few days once we get him back. But for me, we march ahead, we move forward without Melo. I love the fact that that door’s not closed, more for him than anything. I think that’s a positive step for us.

The Hornets’ regular season wraps up May 16 so it is possible Ball can play again but the organization will certainly be cautious with his return to the court. He emerged as perhaps the frontrunner for the Rookie of the Year award and a key member of the rotation.

Ball, through 41 games played, is averaging 15.9 points, 6.1 assists, 5.9 rebounds and 1.3 steals with the Hornets. The team had just recently moved him into the starting lineup prior to the injury on a full-time basis given his strong start to the season.

This post originally appeared on Rookie Wire! Follow us on Facebook!

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