Los Angeles Lakers guard Lonzo Ball is nearing a return from his knee injury, and LeBron James is apparently excited about playing with his new teammate.
James had a message for Ball on his Instagram account Monday:
The second-year player has missed the team's first four preseason games after having offseason knee surgery, but he could make his debut Wednesday against the Golden State Warriors.
Head coach Luke Walton said he will make a decision Wednesday and that Ball was a full participant in Monday's practice, per Mike Trudell of the team's official site.
If he suits up, it will be the first time Ball and James will play together competitively after the four-time MVP signed with Los Angeles in the offseason.
While LeBron has spent time with many All-Stars during the course of his career, he seems particularly excited to line up next to the 2017 No. 2 overall pick.
"Zo knows the system better than anybody being the point guard of this squad last year," he said Monday, per Ryan Ward of Clutch Points. "You want to defend. You want to rebound. You want to get out and run. Move the ball. Share the ball."
The biggest holdup in Ball's career to this point has been injuries, as he missed 30 games due to a variety of ailments during his rookie season.
However, he's on track to be 100 percent in time for the Oct. 18 season opener, and James' positive words could help motivate him to reach expectations.