Los Angeles Lakers rookie point guard Lonzo Ball is still out.
The "minor knee sprain," which was later clarified as a "minor MCL sprain" will force the 20-year-old to miss his 14th and 15th straight games with the affliction on Wednesday and Thursday night.
Tuesday's practice in El Segundo, though, provided positive news on the Ball injury front, even if the ultimate news of the day was that the rookie would miss the next two games with his coach assuming Ball would also be ruled out of Friday's Rising Stars game, too.
"There was some contact, which is the first time he's really done that," Lakers coach Luke Walton shared details of Ball's involvement in Tuesday's practice. "It wasn't up and down full court scrimmaging. It was half court. He looked good, but there was some discomfort."
Walton added, "He did the most since hurting himself today, and he didn't pull himself out. He practiced the entire practice, so the progress is good."
Ball hurt himself on Jan. 13 in Dallas and now has the entire All-Star Break to recover. Should he make his return in the first game after the NBA's mid-season recess, Ball will return to the court on Feb. 23 against the same Dallas Mavericks team at Staples Center. At the minimum, Ball will sit out for a month and 10 days, roughly six weeks.
Over that time, the Lakers have added a dynamic new player that has fans curious. Isaiah Thomas was an MVP candidate at this same point a season ago when he was with the Boston Celtics, but a hip injury limited the point guard in the playoffs and a trade to Cleveland dramatically impacted the career trajectory of the point guard.
At the trade deadline, Thomas landed in LA.
"They were in the same group today," Walton said when asked if Ball and Thomas got any playing time together at Tuesday's practice. "They looked good. It's funny when you put skilled, intelligent basketball players on the same team, they seem to make each other, them and their unit, look good."
Walton would not comment on whether he would start Thomas and Ball together when both players were healthy, but he confirmed that he would continue to stick with the same starters since changing the lineup in Brooklyn, which means Thomas will come off the bench in New Orleans.