CHICAGO – For the past few months, many have wondered about the health of the left knee of the player that would help the Bulls go during the 2022-2023 season.
After all, not having Lonzo Ball in the lineup was a reason the team couldn’t match their performance in the first half of the season in the latter part of the schedule.
For the first time since last spring, the guard gave an answer about that, and it wasn’t the most positive of news as he heads for another surgery on his left knee on Wednesday.
“Literally, I like, really can’t run. I can’t run or jump” said Ball on a Zoom news conference with reporters on Tuesday. “There’s like a range from 30 to 60 degrees when my knee is bent that I have no force and I can’t catch myself.
“Until I can do those things, I can’t play.”
It’s just not the basketball court where the knee is giving Ball pain.
“It’s every day. Even going up stairs and stuff, it’s still painful,” said Ball. “It’s definitely stuff I’ve never dealt with. Even the doctors are a little surprised by it a little bit. But we’re all working together to figure things out.”
Hence Ball will have arthroscopic debridement of his left knee on Wednesday in Los Angeles after a summer of rehab on it failed to get the pain down. This will knock the guard out of training camp and the start of the season since the team won’t even start evaluating him for 4-to-6 weeks.
This will be the third surgery on the knee for Ball and his second with the Bulls, having had the procedure on it last January. It was expected to keep him out of the lineup for 6-to-8 weeks, but continued pain during the ramping up of activity ended up shutting him down for the season.
Now after this surgery, Ball plans to have a little more patient approach to getting his knee healthy for the 2022-2023 season.
“This time around, I don’t really wanna rush anything. I think like last time I wanted to get back to the playoffs and stuff and I thought, we all thought, that was going to be the case, but unfortunately it wasn’t,” said Ball. “So this time I think we need to take it however slow we need to take it and come back 100 percent.”
Certainly, he and the Bulls can’t wait for that to happen.