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Charlotte Hornets star LaMelo Ball has been ruled out for the remainder of Wednesday’s game against the Houston Rockets after suffering a left ankle sprain in the third quarter, the team announced.
Ball had 13 points, one rebound and four assists in 20 minutes before exiting.
Entering Wednesday’s game, Ball had appeared in just 21 games for the Hornets this season, averaging 24 points, 5.4 rebounds and 8.4 assists while shooting 41.5 percent from the floor and 37.4 percent from deep.
The 21-year-old missed the first 13 games of the season with an ankle injury. He returned to the lineup on Nov. 12 against the Miami Heat and also played games against the Orlando Magic and Indiana Pacers before hitting the shelf again after reinjuring his ankle.
Ball missed 11 games between Nov. 18 and Dec. 11. He has played every game since returning to the lineup on Dec. 14 against the Detroit Pistons.
Ball led the Hornets to the play-in tournament in each of his first two seasons in the NBA, though they failed to secure a playoff berth on both occasions.
This season, Charlotte is last in the Eastern Conference with an 11-34 record, and the team will likely miss the playoffs altogether for the seventh straight season, especially if Ball is sidelined for another significant period of time.
Terry Rozier, Dennis Smith Jr. and Theo Maledon figure to see more playing time at the point if Ball misses time moving forward.