The Chicago Bulls are shutting down point guard Lonzo Ball for the remainder of the 2022-23 NBA season due to pain and discomfort in his left knee, the team announced Tuesday.
Ball has yet to play in the 2022-23 season and has been sidelined since January 2022 after he tore his left meniscus during a game against the Golden State Warriors.
Ball has undergone two surgeries on his knee since the injury, according to the NBA.
“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,” Chicago Bulls Executive Vice President Artūras Karnišovas said in a statement.
“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.”
Injury Update: Lonzo 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.”
Full Statement from Arturas Karnisovas:
— Chicago Bulls (@chicagobulls) February 21, 2023
Ball’s knee discomfort is beginning to jeopardize his once promising NBA career.
Prior to the season starting, Ball said he felt pain just going up and down stairs.
For a person in his 20s to be feeling knee pain just going up and down stairs seems troublesome. His injury is sad, because prior to getting hurt, Ball was playing some of the best basketball of his career. He was averaging 13 points, 5.4 rebounds, 5.1 assists and was shooting over 42 % from three during the 2021-22 season, according to Pro Basketball Reference.
Before tearing his meniscus, Ball was one of Chicago’s best players, if not the best, and he had the Bulls near the top of the Eastern Conference playoff standings for the first time in over a decade. The fact that he’s still plagued with pain over a year post the initial injury makes me concerned his career will end much sooner than it should. (RELATED: Cleveland Cavaliers Announce That They’ll Retire Kevin Love’s Jersey Number)
Ball’s career is unfortunately going down the same road as former NBA All Stars Brandon Roy and Derrick Rose. Roy played in just six NBA seasons before retiring from the league in 2013 due to knee issues. Rose, on the other hand, has been a shell of himself since winning the MVP Award in 2011 due to suffering four major knee injuries since 2012. His knee problems derailed his once Hall-of-Fame-worthy career.
Sadly, it’s appearing like Ball is treading water similar to Rose and Roy.
Regardless of how people feel about the Ball family, you never want to see a young man’s career cut short due to injuries that are pretty much out of his control. Hopefully, doctors and team trainers can figure out the root of Ball’s knee problem so he can get back out on the floor. The Bulls can’t reach their highest potential without him.