CHICAGO – It’s very possible that what happened on Wednesday is one of the more impactful moments of the early part of the Bulls’ season.
That’s the left knee surgery for Lonzo Ball that occurred in Los Angeles as doctors hope to finally calm the pain that has lingered for the point guard for the better part of the last year.
Per a report on Thursday, it appears that surgery has yielded some positive developments.
According to Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium, there is “confidence” that Ball will be able to return at some point during the 2022-2023 season, with his absence likely to be a few months.
Charania also reports that the doctors performing the surgery believe they “addressed” the issue with the pain.
This surgery is the latest in an attempt to get the left knee healthy, which began with a procedure to repair a torn meniscus in January. Ball was never able to get rid of the pain in his knee after surgery and wouldn’t return to the floor for the rest of the season.
Pain continued in the knee throughout the summer and never got better despite a number of rehab exercises. Just ahead of training camp, it was announced that Ball would have another surgery.
“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 both a sigh of relief and a blow to the Bulls, since Ball will not miss the whole year but not be able to be on the floor with the team for a bit. One of the said goals of management was to have their core play together as a unit so they can grow together and increase their production on the floor.
Injuries, most notably to Ball, derailed that hope in the 2021-2022 season, where the Bulls won 45 games and made the playoffs but were not as effective against stronger competition.
In 35 games last season, the guard averaged 13 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 5.1 rebounds per game.