Charlotte Hornets star LaMelo Ball suffered a fracture in his right ankle during Monday night’s win over the Detroit Pistons, the team announced after the game.
Ball appeared to turn the ankle early in the third quarter while dribbling the ball behind his back. He immediately went down in pain and was subbed out of the game, finishing with 18 points on 6 3-pointers to go along with six rebounds and five assists in 21 minutes.
Gordon Hayward said Charlotte’s players didn’t find out about the severity of Ball’s injury until after the game, with most of them figuring the point guard had just tweaked something.
“It’s certainly disappointing because he’s a major part of our team and we felt like we were rounding the corner,” Hayward said.
Ball’s other ankle has troubled him multiple times this season — he’s sprained his left ankle three times, limiting him to just 36 games.
Hornets coach Steve Clifford didn’t say how long Ball would be out. Charlotte has 19 games left and isn’t in playoff contention, so it would be hard to imagine the team rushing him back.
“It’s just a basketball ankle and there is nothing that you can do about that,” Clifford said.
Ball, 21, is averaging 23.4 points and 8.5 assists this season, after making the All-Star Game last year.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.