LOS ANGELES — Lonzo Ball has a sprained left shoulder and will be out at least a week, the Los Angeles Lakers said Sunday.
The rookie point guard underwent an MRI that revealed the injury, which will keep him out of Monday’s Christmas night game against the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Lakers head coach Luke Walton said he felt there was “too much feeling sorry for ourselves as opposed to being professionals” in Saturday’s loss to Portland, while center Andrew Bogut said players can’t be distracted by the team’s salary-cap situation.
The Lakers play five games through Jan. 1, against the Timberwolves, Memphis Grizzlies, LA Clippers, at Houston Rockets and at Minnesota. With Ball not being re-evaluated for a week, the point guard could be held out of all five of those games.
Ball said he “felt it pop, kind of” after he got tangled up with Portland’s Jusuf Nurkic near the end of the first half of a loss to the Blazers on Saturday. While he remained in the game and finished with 10 points, 11 assists and 8 rebounds in 37 minutes, Ball said afterward that he had swelling in the shoulder.
“I am not really sure what happened, but definitely felt it pop, kind of,” Ball said after the loss. “I’ll just ice it and be ready to go Christmas.”
Ball repeatedly said he was confident he would be able to play Monday, but the MRI revealed the sprain.
NBA on Christmas Day
Lakers coach Luke Walton, who was given a technical foul, mentioned Ball’s shoulder injury and no-foul call when he criticized the officiating after Saturday’s loss.
“I learned some new … every night I hear different rules about what’s a foul and what’s not a foul,” Walton said. “I got a technical tonight. I didn’t know that if you try to draw a charge and you flop, the flop is a defensive foul. I guess I was wrong on that. There’s a couple … KCP [Kentavious Caldwell-Pope] … James Harden shot 20 free throws [on Wednesday] doing the same things against us. Zo gets his shoulder ripped.
“It’s frustrating. We’re trying to teach this young team how to play and what to do and do it properly, and it just feels like every night it’s a different excuse on why we’re not getting calls.”
The Lakers are already without injured starting center Brook Lopez, who has a sprained ankle and won’t return for at least two more weeks.