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Hornets' LaMelo Ball 'hopeful' he can return tonight against Pistons

Hornets' LaMelo Ball 'hopeful' he can return tonight against Pistons

The Charlotte Hornets have been without All-Star point guard LaMelo Ball for all but three games this season due to a left ankle sprain, but he is nearing a return.

Ball was upgraded to questionable for tonight's game against the Detroit Pistons and he is "hopeful" that he'll be able to play, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski

The 21-year-old will test his ankle during pregame warm-ups and see if he's ready to return.

Ball missed the first 13 games of the season due to his ankle injury. He was able to return for three contests, but then reinjured his ankle when he stepped on a fan's foot during the Hornets' home game against the Indiana Pacers on Nov. 16. He has been sidelined ever since.

This season, Ball is averaging 19.3 points, 7.0 assists, 3.7 rebounds, 3.3 threes and 1.0 steal in 32.7 minutes per game. He is shooting 41.5% from the field, 31.3% from three-point range and 80.0% from the free-throw line.

The Hornets are currently 7-20, which is the second-worst record in the NBA (behind only the Pistons, who are 7-22). Charlotte has the NBA's worst offense (scoring 105.1 points per 100 possessions) and seventh-worst defense (allowing 111.5 points per 100 possessions).

Ball's return should give the Hornets a huge boost, particularly on the offensive end.

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