Lonzo Ball could face a 3rd knee surgery, raising questions about his return to Chicago Bulls for the 2023-24 season

The end of a lengthy recovery still isn’t in sight for Chicago Bulls point guard Lonzo Ball, who reportedly could require a third surgery on his left knee.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported Thursday that Ball could require a third procedure, which would result in at least six months of additional recovery. The report did not specify what the procedure would entail, but the surgery would most likely occur by the end of March.

If the procedure requires a six-month recovery window, it could raise questions already for Ball’s availability for the start of the 2023-24 season.

Ball underwent meniscus surgery in January 2022 and an arthroscopic debridement on Sept. 28 as he attempted to recover from the baffling knee injury that has sidelined him for nearly 14 months. The last time he played in a game was Jan. 14, 2022, and he has not been able to run or jump without pain since.

The Bulls medical staff has worked in tandem with Ball’s representative team, which has allowed him to receive input from a variety of specialists. But more than a year after he suffered the injury, the source of the guard’s lingering pain still hasn’t been confirmed.

Although Ball progressed after the debridement in September — which allowed him to begin basic activities like running on the treadmill and shooting — the Bulls have continued to emphasize that he is nowhere close to a return to the court.

Ball, who signed a four-year, $85 million deal in August 2021, is under contract through 2024-25, a lengthy commitment that has hindered the Bulls in trade maneuvering. He has played only 35 games in Chicago, averaging 13 points and 5.1 assists.


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