Lakers' Lonzo Ball to miss NBA Rising Stars; targets first game after All-Star break

Los Angeles Lakers rookie Lonzo Ball will miss the team’s next two games as he continues to recover from a knee injury, meaning that he won’t suit up again until after the All-Star break.

Lakers coach Luke Walton said that Ball has looked good in his workouts, but simply doesn’t want to take a chance with bringing his point guard back before he’s fully recovered.

“He’s sill a little sore, but he’s still making good progress,” Walton said on Tuesday. “We’re not going to play him tomorrow — with a back-to-back and a week off after that — the progress is great, but it just doesn’t make sense to risk it right now.”

While Ball believes he is healthy enough to play, he will sit out the Rising Stars Game to avoid any risks. He’ll be replaced by Sacramento Kings guard De’Aaron Fox on the Rising Stars roster. The Lakers and Ball are currently targeting Los Angeles first game after the break for his return.

Ball has missed the Lakers’ last 13 games with a sprained MCL in his left knee, and the team has gone 8-5 in his absence. Upon his return, he’ll be paired for the first time with new Lakers guard Isaiah Thomas, who was acquired from the Cavaliers before the trade deadline in exchange for Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance Jr.

Ball is averaging 10.2 points, 7.1 rebounds and 7.1 assists on the season.