Lonzo Ball will undergo a third surgery; uncertain schedule originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
Lonzo Ball will undergo a third surgery on his left knee, the Chicago Bulls confirmed to NBC Sports Chicago’s KC Johnson on Thursday.
The timetable for his return is uncertain and will be unknown until the surgery is complete.
The operation will mark the fourth surgery he has received on his left knee in his life and the third since joining the Bulls. In January 2022, Ball underwent knee surgery to repair a torn meniscus. In September, after enduring a painful summer trying to rehabilitate his knee, he underwent arthroscopic debridement aimed at treating a nerve problem and removing debris.
The task for the next surgery is unknown. Since he tried to get back on the court after his second surgery, Ball continued to experience discomfort and at one point tried to change his running style. He posted a video of him running, dunking a basketball and doing hurdles drills over the winter.
The Bulls officially banned Ball from returning for the 2022-23 season in February, right after the All-Star break.
Next season will be Ball’s third with the Bulls. He has a player option for the fourth year of his contract. If his injury is deemed career-ending, the Bulls have insurance on his $80 million guaranteed contract, sources told NBC Sports Chicago a while back.
In Paris, Ball told NBC Sports Chicago that he did not fear the injury would threaten his career.
“I just think it takes a long time,” Ball said. “This is my third surgery, I had two last year. It’s about regaining that strength and self-confidence. I’m only 25, so I’m not too worried about (a career-ending injury).”
The Bulls have overlooked Ball’s impact on the court. In the first 35 games he played in a Bulls uniform during the 2021-22 season, before suffering a torn meniscus, he averaged 13 points, 5.4 rebounds and 5.1 assists.
His persistence in wreaking havoc on defense, adding a wrinkle to the Bulls’ transition offense and becoming arguably the Bulls’ best outside shooter at the time are irreplaceable traits on the Bulls’ current roster.