Lonzo Ball keeps taking blows.
According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, the Chicago Bulls are set to shut down their star point guard for the remainder of the season as he works to recover from a series of knee ailments.
In January 2022, while the Bulls had the best record in the Eastern Conference, Ball underwent arthroscopic surgery to repair a damaged meniscus. He underwent a second surgery in September because he was unable to “run or jump” after the initial procedure did not result in a satisfactory recovery.
After the second surgery, there was anticipation that Ball would be able to return to the court for the 2022-23 season. Tuesday, Charania said that “pain and suffering have lingered in Ball’s left knee” despite two surgeries.
The Bulls concluded an agreement with former Lakers guard Patrick Beverley following his trade to the Magic and subsequent release at the 2023 trade deadline. Beverley is not a playmaker like Lonzo Ball, but he can bring defense and energy while subbing for Ayo Dosunmu and Alex Caruso.
The 25-year-old Ball was having one of the best seasons of his career in 2021-22 prior to the injury that ended his season after 35 games. At the time of his injury, he was averaging 13 points, 5.4 rebounds, 5.1 assists, and 1.8 steals per game, and Chicago was 27-13.
The Bulls limped to the finish line in the second half of the season and were defeated in five games by the Bucks in the opening round of the playoffs. They are currently two games behind the No. 10 seed and the final position in the play-in tournament with a record of 26-33.
Perhaps Beverley’s passion and leadership will ignite Chicago’s second-half run into the playoffs, but Ball will not provide that spark — at least not this season.