Hornets star Ball unlikely to play in season opener

by Gordon Dixon - Charlotte Hornets point guard LaMelo Ball is expected to miss Wednesday night's season opener against the San Antonio Spurs with a sprained left ankle.

Hornets star LaMelo Ball unlikely to play in season opener 3:21 PM ET Associated Press CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Charlotte Hornets All-Star point guard LaMelo Ball is expected to miss Wednesday night's season opener against the San Antonio Spurs with a sprained left ankle. Hornets coach Steve Clifford said Monday that Ball is doubtful for the game and is uncertain if he will make the trip out West. "He wasn't able to do anything today," Clifford said. "He is doing extra rehab and everything he can, but I would say very doubtful." Ball was injured in the Hornets' preseason loss to the Washington Wizards on Oct. 10 when Anthony Gill stepped on his foot. Ball hasn't practiced or played since. Clifford said there is no timetable for Ball's return. If Ball doesn't play, Terry Rozier would start at point guard alongside Kelly Oubre Jr ., Gordon Hayward , P.J. Washington and Mason Plumlee , Clifford said. When asked about not having Ball in the lineup, Clifford joked, "I'm not sleeping as much. I'm eating more. Usually I have one bag of cough drops. Today I have had three. Other than that, everything else is the same." Ball averaged 20.1 points, 7.6 assists and 6.7 rebounds in his second season.