Bulls optimistic about Ball's surgery, playing this year


The Chicago Bulls are optimistic about point guard Lonzo Ball's chances of playing this season after successful surgery on his left knee, sources tell NBC Sports Chicago's K.C. Johnson.

"This time, there is a 4-6 week timeline for re-evaluation, not return to play," Johnson added. "Given what happened last time, predicting a return to play is more fluid. But there’s confidence Ball will be playing this season."

Ball said he experienced a painful offseason over a Zoom call in Los Angeles the day before the procedure. He couldn't "run or jump" and struggled with everyday tasks, like walking up stairs. 

“Literally, I really can't run. I can't run or jump. There's a range from, like, 30 to 60 degrees when my knee is bent that I have, like, no force and I can't, like, catch myself. Until I can do those things I can't play,” Ball said. “I did rehab, it was getting better, but it was not to a point where I could get out there and run full speed or jump. So surgery is the next step.”

RELATED: Ball describes confounding knee symptoms before surgery

Ball, the Bulls and Ball's representation agreed to push off a surgery this offseason as a last resort. However, after Ball's pain had not subsided, surgery became inevitable. He underwent an "arthroscopic debridement" on Wednesday. 


While the news is positive in the macro, it's important to remember there was confidence in Ball's last surgery in January. That surgery, which repaired tears in his meniscus, resulted in a 6-8 week timeline for return he never fulfilled. 

Ball hasn't seen the floor since last January and required another surgery this week that will leave him out for the start of this season. While there's optimism, it's to be seen based on Ball's recovery whether or not he'll be able to suit up for the Bulls this season. 

A plan to return should come following any positive signs of recovery. But for now, there is optimism around his return - again.

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