The Rookie of the Year will return to action on Saturday night. According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, Charlotte Hornets standout LaMelo Ball plans to suit up for the team against the Detroit Pistons after missing the last 21 games following a wrist fracture, giving Charlotte a much-needed boost ahead of the team’s postseason push as we enter the final stretch of the 2020-21 regular season.
Ball suffered the injury on March 20 against the Sacramento Kings, and in that time — a period which also saw Gordon Hayward due to a foot injury — the Hornets went 10-11, staying afloat in the race to make the play-in tournament in the Eastern Conference. Currently, the team sits 30-32, putting them solidly in eighth place in the East. The sixth-seeded Boston Celtics are three games up, while the 11th seed, currently occupied by the Chicago Bulls and Toronto Raptors, is 4.5 games back. The Hornets have 10 games left in the regular season and have the eighth easiest remaining schedule in the league, according to Tankathon.
The youngest Ball brother has been a revelation in Charlotte, taking the league by storm during his first year as a professional in the United States. Ball is averaging 15.9 points, 6.1 assists, 5.9 rebounds, and 1.6 steals in 28.6 minutes per game for the Hornets, connecting on 45.1 percent of his field goal attempts and 37.5 percent of his threes. He was previously listed as questionable to take the floor against the Pistons, and there’s no word on whether he will be on any sort of minutes restriction.