Charlotte Hornets rookie star LaMelo Ball could miss the remainder of the NBA season due to a fractured right wrist.
The Hornets said Ball had an MRI exam on Sunday that revealed the extent of the injury and would be listed as out indefinitely.
The 19-year-old will be further evaluated with additional updates from the team to be provided when available.
Ball was hurt in a fall during the Hornets’ 125-98 loss to the Clippers in Los Angeles on Saturday.
He appeared to be in discomfort playing on in the second half, ending the game with 13 points in 22 minutes.
Ball was in the midst of a superb season for the Hornets and is a leading candidate for NBA rookie of the year honours.
The point guard is averaging 15.9 points and tops all rookies with 6.1 assists and 1.6 steals per game.
The No.3 pick in the 2022 draft, Ball has helped the Hornets get into play-off contention in the eastern conference, where they sit in eighth place despite three straight losses.
Ball earlier this season became the youngest player in NBA history to record a triple-double and was the first player over the last 60 years to lead all rookies in total points, rebounds, assists and steals at the All-Star Break.
He eventually broke into the Hornets’ starting line-up after an injury to Devonte Graham.
Ball took over as a starter on February 1 and since that point has averaged 19.5 points, 5.8 rebounds, 6.2 assists and 1.7 steals in his 21 starts while shooting 46.4 per cent from the field and 42.6 per cent from 3-point range.
Hornets owner and NBA great Michael Jordan recently told the AP that he’s been impressed by the rookie.
“I think Melo has adjusted to the NBA game better than any of us ever thought this early in his career,” Jordan said in an email.
“He has exceeded our expectations so far this season.”
Ball won back-to-back Eastern Conference rookie of the month honours in January and February.