CHICAGO — Bull keeper Lonzo ball is thought to have missed training camp and is doubtful for starting the regular season due to pain and discomfort remaining after meniscus surgery on his left knee in January, sources told ESPN on Friday.
While a source reiterates that Ball’s knee is structurally healthy after he underwent arthroscopic surgery on January 28, he continued to experience pain trying to play basketball as he spent summer rehab in Los Angeles.
Ball will arrive in Chicago next week to undergo further evaluation by the team, but he is unlikely to participate when the Bulls start training camp later this month, sources said.
Throughout the summer, the Bulls have remained unclear about Ball’s potential recovery time while he has seen several knee specialists to determine the cause and treatment for any remaining pain and discomfort, sources said.
“He’s getting better, maybe not at the pace we want,” Bulls vice president Arturas Karnisovas said in July during the broadcast of one of the team’s summer league games. “But he’s getting better.”
When Ball picked up an initial injury in January, the Bulls announced an early recovery schedule of six to eight weeks. However, Ball’s knee never responded to some of the team’s attempts to step up his activity to return to the pitch at the end of last season.
Ball was eventually sidelined for the remainder of the season in early April, confined to a career-low 35 games. In his discharge interview later that month, Ball admitted that his knee recovery had “stopped.”
Prior to his injury, Ball was one of the Bulls’ quick starters, averaging 13.0 points, 5.4 rebounds and 5.1 assists.
Chicago had a 27-13 record when Ball featured in his last game on January 14 before the Bulls ended the game 19-23 without him and lost the first-round playoff series against the Milwaukee Bucks in five games.
Ball, who will turn 25 in October, underwent a procedure to repair a meniscus tear in the same knee in 2018 while playing for the Los Angeles Lakers, but he returned to start training camp then.