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Chicago Bulls shut down point guard Lonzo Ball for season

Oklahoma City Thunder v Chicago Bulls

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - JANUARY 13: Lonzo Ball #2 of the Chicago Bulls looks on against the Oklahoma City Thunder during the first half at United Center on January 13, 2023 in Chicago, Illinois. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

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It’s been more than a year — Jan. 14, 2022 — since Lonzo Ball stepped on an NBA court. Since then he has had two knee surgeries, the first in that same month, the latest this past offseason to clean up what didn’t work in the first one. Still, his recovery has been slow.

Now the Bulls have announced they are shutting him down for the remainder of this season.

“Despite making significant increases in strength and function over the past several months, Bulls guard Lonzo Ball continues to experience performance limiting discomfort during participation in high level basketball-related activities,” Bulls Executive VP of Basketball Operations Artūras Karnišovas said in a statement. “Considering the required time period to achieve the necessary level of fitness to return-to-play and the current stage of the NBA season, Ball will not return this season. The focus for Ball will continue to be on the resolution of his discomfort and a full return for the 2023-24 season.”

This is not a huge surprise, but the lost season is a disappointment to Ball and the Bulls.

Chicago is clearing out a roster spot so they can sign just-waived Patrick Beverley at the point guard spot for the stretch run. The Bulls have used a combination of Ayo Dosunmu, Coby White and even some Alex Caruso at the point, but none of them bring the rounded skill set and game management to the court that Ball does.

Ball has two seasons at $41.9 million total left on his contract (the second year of that is a player option).