CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP)Charlotte Hornets All-Star point guard LaMelo Ball returned Wednesday night against the Detroit Pistons after missing 11 games because of an ankle injury.

Ball played in only his fourth game of the season. The Hornets have lost five straight to fall to 7-20.

Ball was sidelined after reinjuring his left ankle Nov. 16 when he stepped on a fan’s foot while trying to save a ball from going out of bounds. He initially sprained his ankle when he stepped on an Anthony GIll’s foot in a preseason game against the Washington Wizards, causing him to miss the first 13 games of the regular season. Ball returned Nov. 12, but reinjured the ankle in his third game back.

Hornets coach Steve Clifford said Ball was able to do more in practice this week and expects that he’ll ”still be able to play a decent amount of minutes.”

”It lifts everyone’s spirits up,” Clifford said about Ball’s return. ”He is a talented, talented player.”

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