Former Illawarra Hawk LaMelo Ball has recovered from his fractured right wrist and been cleared to start individual basketball activity as he looks to return to action with the NBA's Charlotte Hornets.
The 19-year-old, who was having the top season in his rookie class, suffered a right wrist fracture in a fall during the March 20 road loss to the Los Angeles Clippers and underwent surgery three days later.
"We don't know if LaMelo is out for the season or not," Hornets general manager Mitch Kupchak said on March 26.
"There is a possibility (of Ball playing again), just based on other players who have had this injury, that maybe he does come back for some portion of the year."
Ball - who was named NBL rookie of the year for 2019/20, during his stint with the Illawarra Hawks - has had a spectacular start to his NBA career, winning the first three Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month awards.
He averaged 15.9 points, 6.1 assists and 5.9 rebounds in the 41 games he played before the injury.
Ball appeared to be cruising to winning rookie of the year, and still looks like the front-runner.
Hornets coach James Borrego said Ball should win the title, regardless of whether he plays any more this season, based on his impact on the Hornets' record.
"He has clearly impacted winning, more so than I even expected," Borrego said.
"He put us in position to be a top-six seed in the Eastern Conference.
"When you can impact winning and put up those numbers, you are clearly rookie of the year."
Australian Associated Press