Update on Lonzo Ball’s knee injury could be a problem for 2022-2023 Bulls

Lonzo Ball. Chicago Bulls (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)
Lonzo Ball. Chicago Bulls (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images) /

Throughout his five years in the NBA, injuries have seemed to haunt Lonzo Ball wherever he goes. Despite showing much promise as a high-end starter in the league, Ball has failed to ever play more than 63 games in a season. First in LA and then in New Orleans, it now seems as if Lonzo has brought his injury plague with him to the Chicago Bulls.

When he was on the court, however, he made his presence felt in a big way. Ball averaged 13 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 5.1 assists per game as a jack-of-all-trades in his first season with the Bulls. He also averaged three makes from beyond the arc per game for a blistering hot 42.3% on 3-point attempts. He was fifth in the NBA in 3-point percentage this season, further showing just how far he has come from the days when his jump shot was mocked as a rookie in LA. On top of all that, he was the team’s best defender and was the catalyst for offensive flow.

In games Ball played for Chicago this season, the team posted a record of 22-13. That’s a win rate of 62.8%, a pace that put the Bulls on track to win 52 games. Had he managed to stay healthy, the Bulls could have potentially jumped the Raptors, who finished with 48 wins, as well as the 76ers, Bucks, and Celtics, all of whom finished with 51 wins.

Instead, the team would just manage to barely stay afloat, posting a 24-23 record without Lonzo. Unfortunately, doubt is now being cast on his timetable to return prior to next season. This doesn’t bode well for a Bulls team that hopes to showcase its full potential and push for a strong finish in an improved Eastern Conference.

Lonzo Ball’s knee injury update is bad for the Bulls

Per Darnell Mayberry of The Athletic (subscription required), there has been no substantial update on the development of Lonzo’s knee. Considering that he was initially ruled out nearly five months ago and he’s long overdue his initial return timeline, this is becoming a very concerning situation.

At least, that’s what Mayberry seems to be indicating. The situation is “more of a concern by the week,” says Mayberry while mentioning the possibility of a second surgery still not being ruled out as another potential roadblock to getting the point guard back on the court.

Here’s Mayberry’s full quote regarding the situation:

"“It’s been four-and-a-half months since Ball was sidelined with a left knee injury that eventually turned into meniscus surgery. He’s still not right. Whether he will be in time for the season opener becomes more of a concern by the week. If Ball must undergo a second surgery, the time crunch intensifies. There’s been no indication from Ball’s camp that a second procedure is in the plan, but it can’t be ruled out if Ball’s knee remains unresponsive.”"

All that’s seemingly left is holding out hope that this situation resolves itself rather than continues to worsen, but with the way it’s trending it’s hard to feel optimistic about that outcome.

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