The Chicago Bulls have shut down point guard Lonzo Ball for the remainder of the season as he continues to deal with pain and discomfort in his left knee, the team announced Tuesday. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Ball hasn’t played this season following his latest knee surgery in September 2022.
  • The 25-year-old last took the court on Jan. 14, 2022, before being diagnosed with a small meniscus tear and bone bruise. He’s undergone two surgeries since.

What the Bulls said

“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,” said Bulls executive vice president Artūras Karnišovas. “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.”


After an initial surgery on Jan. 20, 2022, the team gave Ball a six-to-eight-week timeline, but he missed the Bulls’ remaining 47 regular-season and playoff games of the 2021-22 season. Seven weeks later, coach Billy Donovan said Ball was still having discomfort in his knee because of the bone bruise.

In late September, Ball underwent arthroscopic debridement of his left knee and was expected to miss the start of the season. Chicago appeared to prepare for Ball’s early absence by signing Goran Dragic in the offseason.

The day before his surgery, Ball was honest in his evaluation of his injury recovery process, telling reporters, “I still can’t play basketball. I can’t run or jump.”

Ball added: “There’s a range from, like, 30 to 60 degrees when my knee is bent that I have no force. And I can’t catch myself. So until I can do those things, I can’t play. I did rehab. It was getting better. But it was not to a point where I could get out there and actually go out there and run at full speed or jump. So surgery was the next step.”

Chicago acquired Ball via trade with the New Orleans Pelicans in August 2021. In only 35 games played with the Bulls, he’s averaged 13.0 points, 5.4 rebounds and 5.1 assists.

In 2018, the 6-foot-6 guard underwent arthroscopic surgery in the same knee.

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(Photo: Kamil Krzaczynski / USA Today)


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