LaMelo Ball set to return to Hornets' lineup Friday night

NBA: JAN 05 Hornets at Bulls
NBA: JAN 05 Hornets at Bulls

LaMelo Ball is back.

After six weeks and 20 games missed due to a severely sprained ankle, the Charlotte Hornets' star point guard is set to make a return to the court Friday night against the Spurs, something that had been building for a week and was first confirmed Friday by Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. Ball would later say at shootaround he hoped to play but wanted to see how he felt after going through warmups.

Expect Ball to be on a bit of a minutes restriction at first, but he told Rod Boone of the Charlotte Observer he is good to go.

"I feel great," Ball said. "I'm alive. I'm blessed. Can't complain. I'm good."

Ball's return is good news for the 8-27 Hornets, who have been one of the worst teams in the league this season. Charlotte was 5-10 in the games Ball played this season but have gone 3-17 without him.

Prior to his injury, Ball looked like a guy taking a step forward, averaging 25.9 points and 8.6 assists a game while hitting 38.9% from 3. He'd been on a tear playing even better than that when he went down with a sprained ankle against the Magic on Nov. 26.