Hornets' LaMelo Ball returns after 21-game absence

Published May 2, 2021, 10:00 AMNBA.com News Services

Ball has been out with a fractured right wrist since March 21 (PHT); Malik Monk also returns after missing 15 games.

LaMelo Ball had surgery on March 23 and will provide a boost to the Hornets, who currently sit 8th in the East.

Charlotte point guard LaMelo Ball is back in action, reclaiming his customary starting spot Sunday (PHT) against Detroit after missing 21 games with a fractured wrist.

It didn’t take him long to put his unique stamp on the game, whipping a long underhand assist to Miles Bridges for the easy layup.

Ball has been sidelined since March 21 (PHT), but has progressed more rapidly than many expected. The Hornets currently sit eighth in the Eastern Conference and have gone 10-11 in the rookie’s absence.

Before injuring the wrist, Ball was a leading candidate for Kia Rookie of the Year, averaging 15.9 points (2nd among rookies), 5.9 rebounds (2nd) and 6.1 assists (1st) in 41 games.

The Hornets will also get shooting guard Malik Monk back, who is available to play after missing a month with a sprained ankle.

Monk has missed 15 games after suffering the ankle injury April 2 (PHT) in Brooklyn. On the season, the fourth-year guard is averaging a career-high 13.1 points on 46.0% shooting (42.4% on 3s) in 21.7 minutes per game.