Charlotte Hornets star NBA rookie LaMelo Ball will be re-evaluated in four weeks after undergoing surgery to repair his broken right wrist.
Ball’s wrist will be immobilised and he’ll be assessed again in a month, according to a statement from the Hornets.
The timetable leaves the door open for a possible return this season for the 19-year-old point guard, the front-runner for NBA rookie of the year honours.
However, the statement did not address whether Ball is out for the rest of the season.
A person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press on Monday that Ball is expected to miss the remainder of the NBA season.
The person spoke The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the team has not publicly said when Ball might return.
The Hornets’ regular season concludes on May 16.
Ball sustained the injury during Charlotte’s loss to the Clippers on March 20.
He fell early in the game and appeared to be in discomfort the rest of the contest.
He finished with 13 points on 4-of-12 shooting in 22 minutes, with coach James Borrego limiting his playing time in the second half.
“I feel horrible for LaMelo more than anything,” Borrego said on Monday of the implications of Ball’s injury.
“He’s going to be our biggest cheerleader (while injured). He’s a curious young man who wants to be great.”
The No.3 overall selection in the NBA draft, Ball was having a strong rookie season averaging 15.9 points, 5.9 rebounds, 6.1 assists and 1.59 steals per game in 41 contests.
Ball ranks first in assists and steals, second in scoring and is tied for second in rebounds among rookies.
Ball earned back-to-back eastern conference rookie of the month awards in January and February.