Lonzo Ball has shoulder sprain, out at least a week for Lakers

LOS ANGELES -- Lonzo Ball has a sprained left shoulder and will be out at least a week.

The Los Angeles Lakers' rookie point guard underwent an MRI on Sunday that revealed the injury, which kept him out of the team's Christmas night 121-104 loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves.

"Definitely was looking forward to playing [on Christmas]," Ball said before Monday's game. "I always watched the games on Christmas, I'm pretty sure a lot of people do. It's unfortunate that I can't play this year, but hopefully next year, another opportunity."

The Lakers play five games through Jan. 1, against the Timberwolves, Memphis Grizzlies, LA Clippers, at Houston Rockets and at Minnesota. With Ball not scheduled to be re-evaluated for a week, the point guard could be held out of all five of those games.

Ball said he injured the shoulder when he got tangled up with the Portland Trail Blazers' Jusuf Nurkic near the end of the first half of a Lakers loss on Saturday. While he remained in the game and finished with 10 points, 11 assists and eight rebounds in 37 minutes, Ball said afterward that he had swelling in the shoulder.

"I am not really sure what happened, but definitely felt it pop, kind of," Ball said after the loss. "I'll just ice it and be ready to go Christmas."

Ball had said he was confident he would be able to play Monday, but the MRI revealed the sprain.

"When I woke up [Sunday] it was pretty sore. That's when we got the MRI and then the results came back," Ball explained Monday night. "So trying to stay positive and get back as fast as I can. ... It's pretty sore, but it's still a fresh injury so it should be OK in a week hopefully."

Lakers coach Luke Walton, who was given a technical foul, mentioned Ball's shoulder injury and no-foul call when he criticized the officiating after Saturday's loss.

"I learned some new. ... Every night I hear different rules about what's a foul and what's not a foul," Walton said. "I got a technical tonight. I didn't know that if you try to draw a charge and you flop, the flop is a defensive foul. I guess I was wrong on that. There's a couple: KCP [Kentavious Caldwell-Pope]. James Harden shot 20 free throws [on Wednesday] doing the same things against us. Zo gets his shoulder ripped.

"It's frustrating. We're trying to teach this young team how to play and what to do and do it properly, and it just feels like every night it's a different excuse on why we're not getting calls."

The Lakers are already without injured starting center Brook Lopez, who has a sprained ankle and won't return for at least two more weeks.