Lonzo Ball was a revelation with the Chicago Bulls last season. He played a key role in the team getting off to a hot start, proving to be a strong defensive player and a capable passer. Then he hurt his knee.
Ball missed the final two months of the 2021-22 NBA season. The Bulls came down the stretch, going 19-23 after Ball underwent his first surgery.
It was hoped that Ball would be fully recovered and ready to lead the Bulls by the start of the 2022-23 NBA season, but his knee remains a major question. Ball, who will have his second knee surgery on Wednesday, said he can’t run or jump on his knee right now and still has pain walking up the stairs. He said doctors are “a little surprised” that he is still struggling so much because of the injury.
Ball explained that his knee improved, but never progressed to the point where he could do the things necessary to get back on the basketball court, according to NBCSports Chicago.
“Literally, I can’t really run. I can’t run or jump. There’s a range from, like, 30 to 60 degrees when my knee is bent there’s, like, no force and I can’t, like, to until I can do those things, I can’t play,” Ball said. “I did rehabilitation, it was getting better, but it was not to a point where I could get out there and run full speed or jump. So surgery is the next step.”
Ball added that he just wants to get back out there with his teammates. While Wednesday will be Ball’s second knee surgery this past calendar year, it will be his third since entering the NBA.
That’s not what Bulls fans want to hear as the season quickly approaches.
The team announced last Wednesday that Ball would undergo another operation on his knees. He will have that procedure on September 28, and will be evaluated in 4-6 weeks. That will keep Ball out for the start of the 2022-23 NBA season.
Ball has already had one operation on his knee. He was cleared of a meniscus tear last January. Ball was expected to return to the team after a few months, but he had to be shut down for the season due to a slow recovery. Those issues continued during the offseason, leading to a second surgery.
Due to the severity of Ball’s problems now, surgery appears to be necessary. If he can bounce back from this procedure within the expected timeline, Ball could still play a big role for the Bulls during the 2022-23 NBA season.