Bulls rookie forward Justin Lewis has injured the ACL in his right knee, the team confirmed today in a press release. According to the announcement, Lewis will undergo surgery at some point in the coming weeks and will be out indefinitely.
Lewis’ knee injury was first reported last Thursday by K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago, who said at the time that there was concern about the possibility of an ACL tear. The Bulls technically didn’t confirm in their statement that Lewis’ ACL is torn, but the fact that he’s going under the knife and being ruled out indefinitely strongly suggests that’s the diagnosis.
It’s a brutal blow for the former Marquette standout, who caught on with Chicago on a two-way contract this summer after going undrafted. Lewis had a breakout sophomore season in 2021/22, averaging 16.8 PPG and 7.9 RPG in 32 games (32.2 MPG) for the Golden Eagles. He played for the Bulls’ Summer League team in Las Vegas last month before injuring his knee last week.
While the Bulls didn’t announce a specific timeline for Lewis’ return to the court, ACL tears typically sideline NBA players for a full year. If Lewis does indeed have a torn ACL, it’s unlikely we’ll see him in action until the 2023/24 season.
It’s unclear whether the Bulls will keep Lewis under contract all season or whether they’ll waive him and use that two-way slot on another player, given that he’s only on a one-year deal. If he’s released, the 20-year-old would likely be given the opportunity to remain around the team and use the Bulls’ facilities during his rehab process.