LaMelo Ball reveals injured wrist not fully healed, range of motion limited

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Despite returning to the lineup for the final weeks of the regular season and the play-in game, LaMelo Ball was still noticeably bothered by his injured right wrist. Ball was often seen massaging and flexing the wrist throughout the game and would frequently keep heat on it while on the sidelines to keep it warm.

It came as little surprise, then, when Ball revealed during his exit interview on Thursday that his wrist was not 100% yet.

“The wrist can’t bend all the way,” Ball said before mimicking how it impeded his follow-through on his shot. “It’s going to get there. Trying to work every day, just getting better every day.”

Over the final 10 games of the regular season and the play-in game, Ball shot just 37.5% from the field, 25.4% from the 3-point line and 66.6% at the free throw line, all marks well below his season averages.

Interestingly, looking back to general manager Mitch Kupchak’s comments in the immediate aftermath of Ball’s comments, it was noted that the organization would not rush Ball back.

“Now, one thing we know we’re not going to do, in any event, is put his health in jeopardy. In other words, if we get to the end of the year and we’re in a playoff hunt and he’s not quite ready or we feel we could push it and get him back on the court, we won’t do that. That makes no sense for us to do that. He’s a big part of what we got going on going forward and we won’t jeopardize his health.”

Ultimately, Ball did not do any further damage to his wrist so they did not jeopardize his future. It may have likely been a case where the only way to continue going full mobility in his wrist was to use it and he couldn’t do any further damage by playing.

Along the same lines, the Hornets were a better team even with a version of LaMelo Ball that was less than 100% to close out the season. Given the slew of injuries they endured, the team needed some version of Ball back on the court to help them make a playoff push.

The good news is Ball and the Hornets both anticipate he will be full strength this summer as he heads into his first offseason as an NBA player.

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