Lonzo Ball has a promising future in the NBA. However, he can only do so if stays healthy and plays in actual games. After getting traded to the New Orleans Pelicans by the Los Angeles Lakers, critics felt Ball would shine with more playing time. Unfortunately, injuries continue to slow down the second overall pick of the 2017 NBA Draft.

Ball is sidelined once more due on account of a groin injury. According to Andrew Lopez of ESPN, the 22-year-old first suffered the injury last Nov. 2 against the Oklahoma City Thunder. The 6-foot-6 guard continued playing and may have aggravated it. He is ruled out in the Pelicans' next game against Charlotte Hornets on Saturday.

The good news is that Ball may not be out for long. The fact that he was able to play in the last couple of games is reportedly a good sign, according to Yahoo Sports. New Orleans has yet to issue an official statement on the extent of Ball’s injury.

As far as the Pelicans are concerned, this serves as more bad news. The Pelicans tote a 2-7 win-loss record and are just half a game ahead of cellar-dwelling Golden State Warriors. Already without prized rookie Zion Williamson, head coach Alvin Gentry may turn to Josh Hart or Jrue Holiday to step up in the backcourt.

The latest injury to Lonzo Ball is also crucial. He has struggled to stay healthy the past NBA seasons and this could factor into his basketball future. Pundits felt that Ball would follow the rise of former Lakers guard D’Angelo Russell who broke out last NBA season. The difference is DLO found a way to stay healthy and play more games.

The best recourse for Ball right now is to make sure he is 100-percent healthy and be more mature when it comes to playing games. Playing through pain is noble but useless if it gets worse.

Ball did show signs of promise when he was with the Los Angeles Lakers. The only problem there was playing time. With the Pelicans, he is expected to get extensive minutes. However, being in the injured list will shoot down that opportunity.

Lonzo Ball Lonzo Ball is keeping an open mind, aware his rise in the NBA may happen outside the Los Angeles Lakers. Lonzo Ball #2 of the Los Angeles Lakers during the NBA game against the Phoenix Suns at Talking Stick Resort Arena in Phoenix, Arizona, Oct. 24, 2018. The Lakers defeated the Suns 131-113. Photo: Getty Images/Christian Petersen