Ball, who missed his fourth straight game on Sunday with a sore left knee, likely will miss Tuesday’s game against the Boston Celtics. Ball has yet to practice and while he could travel with the team, the point guard’s status for the Lakers’ upcoming five-game, 11-day road trip remains uncertain, according to Walton.
“They [Ball and the training staff] did more yesterday than the day before and he says he feels good today but he is still out,” Walton said before the Lakers played the Knicks. “… I don’t expect him back [anytime soon]. I haven’t seen him on the court doing anything but they’re looking at it, still just taking it day-by-day to see when the knee is feeling better.”
When asked if there was a possibility of Ball not traveling with the team on the Lakers’ longest road trip of the season thus far, Walton said he expects Ball to accompany the team.
“Whether he plays or not that all depends on the knee,” Walton said. “We are not going to rush him back from a sore knee. Once that gets better, we will get him back on the court.”
Ball and guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (Achilles’ tendon strain) were ruled out against the Knicks. The Lakers did get some good injury news with Brandon Ingram made available to play against the Knicks after missing two of the last three games with a troublesome ankle injury.
Ball injured his knee late in an overtime victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Jan. 13. He woke up the next morning with pain and swelling in his knee. He was able to run on a treadmill on Saturday during the Lakers’ off day, but the team wants to play it safe and see the No. 2 overall pick be able to clear a few hurdles before returning to practice to test the knee.
Entering Sunday, the Lakers are 1-8 when Ball does not play. He missed six games earlier this season due to a shoulder injury.
Ball is averaging 10.2 points, 7.1 assists, 7.1 rebounds and 1.5 steals for the Lakers this season.