LaMelo Ballmight be out for the foreseeable future after he reinjured his ankle stepping on a courtside fan's foot ... and it's now got a lot of people wondering, is it time to push spectators back at NBA arenas??
Melo was attempting to corral a loose ball late in the Hornets' game against the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday night ... when he accidentally landed on a man's foot who was parked just inches away from the court.
You can see in broadcast replays of the incident, as Ball was coming down on the guy's shoe, his ankle turned awkwardly ... and he was left in a heap of pain.
The 21-year-old -- who had previously missed time this season due to an injury on the same ankle -- raced to his bench while grimacing, before he eventually needed assistance to get back into the locker room.
Charlotte ended up losing the game, 125-113. Afterward, Hornets coach Steve Clifford did not have an update on his star's status.
It's the second time in less than two weeks that a participant on an NBA floor has had a mishap with a courtside fan. You'll recall, on Nov. 7, Meek Millaccidentally tripped a ref while his legs were extended in his seat.
It all begs the question ... is it time for NBA officials to move courtside fans back in the interest of player safety? So far, Adam Silver hasn't made the call -- but seems it might be necessary.