Injury Notes: Lonzo, LaVine, Scoot, Ayton, Middleton, Maxey

Bulls head coach Billy Donovan shared some good news on Lonzo Ball on Saturday, telling reporters – including K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago – that the veteran point guard has begun more advanced rehab activities, including sprinting, cutting, and jumping. It’s a positive development, given that Donovan said last month that Ball hadn’t yet been cleared to sprint.

“Some of the workouts have been really, really positive and he has progressed,” Donovan said today. “He has responded well. Some of the things that medical guys have shown me is he looks good moving. I’m just really happy for him personally for his progress. He has worked hard to put himself in this position. And hopefully, he can continue to progress.”

Ball, who last suited up for an NBA game in January 2022, has undergone three surgeries on his left knee since then, including a cartilage transplant approximately a year ago. The next step in his recovery would be getting cleared for contact, but there’s no set timeline for him advancing to that stage, according to Donovan.

The Bulls’ head coach also provided an update on Zach LaVine, who underwent surgery on a “non-union Jones fracture” in his right foot last month. As Johnson relays, LaVine is ahead of schedule in his rehab process and is aiming to be back to full strength in three months rather than the four-to-six months initially projected. Either way, we shouldn’t expect to see the guard back in action until the fall.

Here are a few more injury-related updates from around the NBA:

  • A pair of injured Trail Blazers appear on track to return to action on Saturday, according to Sean Highkin of Rose Garden Report (Twitter links). Scoot Henderson, out since the All-Star break due to a left adductor strain, and Deandre Ayton, who has missed the past five games due to a sprained right hand, have both been listed as probable to play vs. Toronto.
  • Bucks head coach Doc Rivers said on Friday night that Khris Middleton (left ankle sprain) could play on Sunday for the first time since February 6, tweets Mark Medina of Sportskeeda. As Jim Owczarski of The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel observes, Middleton has been sidelined long enough that he’ll fall short of playing in 62 games, which means he’ll miss out on earning a $1.5MM bonus in his contract.
  • Sixers head coach Nick Nurse described Tyrese Maxey‘s concussion symptoms earlier this week as “very mild,” per Gina Mizell of The Philadelphia Inquirer, and told reporters on Friday that he was optimistic about the guard’s chances to play on Sunday in New York (Twitter link via Mizell). However, Philadelphia has officially listed Maxey as out for that game. Unless that designation changes by Sunday night, it will be the fourth consecutive game he has missed.
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