Lonzo Ball May Need Third Surgery On Knee

Bulls guard Lonzo Ball may have to undergo a third surgical procedure on his injured knee, writes ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Another operation would likely mean six more months of recovery and rehab time, Wojnarowski adds.

Sources tell Woj that Ball’s Klutch Sports representatives are working with the team to consult with specialists before a decision is made. Another procedure would sideline the 25-year-old guard until the fall and would affect his ability to prepare for next season.

Ball has already been through two operations since suffering a torn meniscus in the knee on January 14, 2022. Although he was originally projected to miss just a few weeks, complications keep pushing back the timeline and Ball has already been ruled out for the rest of this season.

Ball’s original surgery was 14 months ago, and he underwent an arthroscopic debridement procedure in September to clear up lingering issues with his knee. Wojnarowski’s sources say that Ball has made incremental progress since then, but he still can’t run, cut or jump without feeling pain in the knee.

Ball came to Chicago in a sign-and-trade deal with the Pelicans in the summer of 2021. He helped lead the Bulls to a 27-13 record before the injury, averaging 13.0 points, 5.4 rebounds and 5.1 assists in 35 games. In his absence, Chicago dropped to the sixth seed last season and is currently 11th in the East at 30-36.

Ball still has one season left on his contract at $20.5MM, along with a $21.4MM player option for 2024/25.

There’s little chance that Chicago will petition the NBA to have Ball’s injury declared career-ending, tweets Bobby Marks of ESPN. The Bulls would still owe Ball the remainder of his contract, and Marks points out that even if his salary is removed from the cap, the team wouldn’t have room this summer.

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