Bulls’ Lonzo Ball could miss all of next season after another knee surgery
Chicago Bulls point guard Lonzo Ball’s path toward a return took another disappointing turn.
The Bulls announced that Ball underwent his third knee surgery in the last 14 months which will force him to miss most, if not all, of the 2023-24 season.
“This has been a frustrating process, but I’m confident these next steps are the best path forward,” Ball said in a statement released by the team via ESPN.
There is a growing concern about whether Ball will even be able to resume his NBA career after a third surgery. He underwent a cartilage transplant on his left knee that has him labeled as “indefinitely” sidelined.
The Bulls have been extremely patient with Ball’s recovery but has yet to move toward sustained progress. Instead, he has experienced countless setbacks centered on his inability to be pain-free.
He hasn’t been able to run, jump or cut without feeling lingering pain. He averaged 13 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 5.1 assists while shooting 42% from beyond the arc last season before his initial knee surgery.
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Ball’s career is now in jeopardy which could force him to retire early if he’s unable to regain full health. He is in the third year of his four-year, $80 million that he inked in July 2021.
Ball hasn’t played in a game since January 2022 due to his persistent knee issues. All that will presumably lead to a cloudy future with the Bulls beyond his uncertain NBA future.
Chicago will move methodically through the last next several months, but that will all hinge on Ball finally moving forward in his recovery.