On Jan. 28, Lonzo Ball had surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee. The Bulls announced Ball would be back in six-to-eight weeks, the standard recovery time for that surgery — he would return in plenty of time to lead the Bulls into the playoffs.
Ball never set foot on an NBA court again last season.
Before the surgery he had a bone bruise in the same knee — which is essentially a pre-fracture — and it never healed properly. Every time Ball ramped up his workouts to return, he felt soreness in that knee. He was frustrated.
Now comes a new report from David Kaplan of ESPN-AM 1000 in Chicago that the Bulls’ front office has “serious concerns” about how the knee has not progressed, and it could impact offseason moves (via NBC Sports Chicago).
Exactly what that means or what moves the Bulls would make is tough to envision. The Bulls have good guard depth already. Coby White is the backup point guard, while at the two guard spot there is free agent to be Zach LaVine (re-signing him is the Bulls’ top priority), with defensive-minded Alex Caruso and Ayo Dosunmu behind him.
At his exit interview with the media, Ball said that he planned to see a specialist outside the organization and was going to spend time this summer getting his knee right before his extensive offseason workout plans began. He added he hoped he wouldn’t need another surgery, but if that were required to get back on the court, he would do it.
“It’s very frustrating,” Ball said. “Obviously, something needs to be addressed this summer — a lot more leg workouts as opposed to probably upper body. I’m going to work with the doctors and the strength coaches and do what I gotta do to get healthy.”
Ball averaged 13 points and 5.1 assists a game while shooting 42.3% on 3-pointers in his 35 games for the Bulls. He pushed the pace on offense plus gave them a solid defender on the perimeter, two things they missed with him out the second half of the season.