Lonzo Ball injury history and updates

Lonzo Ball, Chicago Bulls (Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports)
Lonzo Ball, Chicago Bulls (Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports) /

How often has Bulls star Lonzo Ball been injured in his career?

Chicago Bulls starting point guard Lonzo Ball is currently sidelined after undergoing meniscus surgery back in January. Ball has had his fair share of injuries throughout his career, including a pair a meniscus tears that have kept him off the court for quite some time. And this year, his absence has truly shown how valuable he is as a player on both sides of the ball.

Here’s a comprehensive look at Ball’s injury history to date.

Lonzo Ball injury history

This list isn’t an indicator that Ball is damaged goods or that he isn’t going to be able to come back strong. There isn’t a single NBA player without an injury history — especially among those who play hard defense. Ball has returned from most the injuries on this list and has improved his game each season, as Bulls fans learned firsthand when it came to his jump shot.

Meniscus Tear, 2022

In January, Ball suffered a meniscus tear in his left knee on Jan. 14 against the Golden state Warriors. The team initially thought the injury was a knee bruise. Further evaluation later revealed the tear, and he underwent surgery to address the injury on Jan. 28.

Ball has been out since. He suffered a setback and his rehab has been paused for 10 days.

Health and Safety Protocols, 2021

Following the Christmas break, Ball was sidelined for 10 days after contracting the COVID-19 virus. The Bulls as a team were hit hard by the COVID-19 protocols in December, with a total of 13 players being sidelined for a portion of that month.

At the time, the Bulls were 22-9 and Ball was having a career year from beyond the arc.

Thumb Sprain, 2021

The New Orleans Pelicans’ season wasn’t what they expected last year, and Ball’s absence late in the season was a part of it. As they were in the race for the last play-in spot, Ball was unavailable due to a thumb sprain.

At the time, Ball was averaging 14 points, five rebounds and five assists. The Pelicans missed the play-in and Ball took his talents to Chicago.

Hip Flexor Strain, 2021

Ball missed 11 games due to a hip flexor strain. He initially tried to come back after missing seven games but was unable to shake the hip soreness.

Knee Tendinopathy, 2021

The Pelicans were without Ball for three games in Jan. 2021 because of bilateral knee tendinopathy. It was the first time he was on the injury report that season. He was averaging 12 points and six assists at that point.

Adductor Strain, 2019

Ball injured his adductor (groin) in the Pelicans’ loss to the Brooklyn Nets on Nov. 4. He initially tried to play through the injury, but had to sit out a total of six games. He had started the season strong,  averaging a then-career-high 11.5 points with 6.1 assists and 4.5 rebounds while shooting a career-best 36% from three.

Ankle Sprain, 2019

Ball’s tenure with the Lakers was filled with unlucky breaks. In his second season, the Lakers had to shut Ball down for the season due to a Grade 3 ankle sprain he sustained against the Houston Rockets on Jan. 19. Ball left the Rockets game in the third quarter after colliding then-Rockets guard James Harden.

He was originally projected to only miss 4-6 weeks. When evaluated in late February, though, it was determined that Ball still needed more time to recover. The decision to shut him down for the season came in March after the second evaluation.

Meniscus Tear, 2018

Ball missed much of his rookie season behind knee soreness that eventually required surgery. This injury has proven to have a long-term effect on Ball as he’s still dealing with the side effects. After his rookie season, he underwent arthroscopic knee surgery, partially removing the meniscus to cut out the damaged piece. A study conducted by National Library of Medicine showed that pain and/or effusion in the knee after the return-to-sport were found in 22% of the athletes with meniscus operations.

Shoulder, 2017

Prior to the Lakers’ Christmas Day game, Ball was ruled out with a shoulder sprain and missed six games.