Hornets star LaMelo Ball has season-ending surgery on broken ankle

Charlotte Hornets point guard LaMelo Ball had surgery on Wednesday to repair his broken right ankle, the team announced.

The Hornets also confirmed that his season his over. They expect him to make a "full recovery," but didn't provide a timeline for his return to the court.

Ball fractured his right ankle in Monday's game against the Detroit Pistons. He fell to the court after planting his right leg on a crossover dribble in the third quarter. The injury didn't involve contact with another player.

Ball left for the locker room after the injury, and X-rays revealed the fracture that the Hornets announced shortly after the 117-106 win over the Pistons. The injury ends an injury plagued season for the third year star.

Ball missed the first 13 games of the season with a Grade 2 sprain of his left ankle. He reinjured the ankle three games into his return and was sidelined for another 11 games.

Charlotte Hornets guard LaMelo Ball holds his ankle after being shaken up on a play during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Detroit Pistons in Charlotte, N.C., Monday, Feb. 27, 2023. (AP Photo/Jacob Kupferman)
LeMelo Ball left Monday's game with a fractured ankle. (AP Photo/Jacob Kupferman)

An All-Star in his second NBA season, Ball has shown progress on the court when he's been able to play this season. In 35 games before Monday, he averaged a career-high 23.4 points and 8.5 assists alongside 6.4 rebounds and 1.3 steals while shooting 36.7% from 3-point distance.

The Hornets have regressed this season after a 43-39 campaign in 2021-22 thanks in part to Ball's injuries and the continued absence Miles Bridges after a felony domestic violence charge. They improved to 20-43 with Monday's win, good for 14th place out of 15 teams in the Eastern Conference, ahead of only the 15-47 Pistons.

Both teams will be in the running for the top pick in the NBA lottery in a draft that features generational prospect Victor Wembanyama and elite talent Scoot Henderson.