Lonzo Ball's return to the court could be further away than previously expected.
The Chicago Bulls guard might need a third surgery on the right knee injury that's forced him to miss the last 14 months, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. Ball, 25, hasn't played since Jan. 14, 2022, and was recently ruled out for the rest of this season. If he undergoes a third procedure, he could need another six months of recovery and rehabilitation, per Wojnarowski.
The Bulls and Ball's representatives, Klutch Sports, are still mulling the decision, Wojnarowski reported.
Before his injury, Ball averaged 13 points, 5.4 rebounds and 5.1 assists in 25 games during his first season with Chicago after a four-year, $80 million sign-and-trade with the New Orleans Pelicans. The team went 22-13 with Ball until he tore his meniscus on Jan. 14 and missed the rest of the season. Chicago finished with a 46-36 record to end the season and lost to the Milwaukee Bucks in the first round.
Ball reportedly couldn't run or jump following a second knee surgery in September, issues which remain a problem in his recovery according to Wojnarowski's newest report.
In Ball's absence, the Bulls signed veteran guard Patrick Beverley in February soon after he was traded to and waived by the Orlando Magic and after the team knew Ball wouldn't return. Beverley has averaged 4.4 points, 5.9 rebounds and 4.0 assists in seven games with the Bulls. Chicago currently sits at 11th in the Eastern Conference with a 30-36 record and are a game behind the Washington Wizards for the final play-in spot.