Lonzo Ball will probably miss all of next season.
The Chicago Bulls guard is set to undergo a third surgery on his left knee, which has already kept him out for more than a year. He is expected to miss most, if not all, of the 2023-24 season, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania.
While it’s an incredibly long time away from the game — he’ll take three full years between games — both Ball and the Bulls are reportedly optimistic that the third surgery will be what it will ultimately take to heal his knee.
Ball had already been ruled out for the remainder of the season with a meniscus injury. He has not played since January 14, 2022 and has already undergone a couple of surgeries. He reportedly couldn’t run or jump after his most recent one in September, and his rehab apparently hasn’t gone as well as hoped.
Ball has been considering a third surgery in recent weeks. The team initially hoped that the surgery would only keep Ball out for six months, which could get him back on the court in time for the start of the following season. Based on Charnia’s timeline, though, he may not take the court again until the start of the 2024-25 season.
If this happens, the ball would have been missed for about 33 months.
Ball averaged 13 points, 5.4 rebounds and 5.1 assists in 35 games with the Bulls before he tore his meniscus. The Bulls were sitting near the top of the Eastern Conference when he went down, but they finished sixth and lost in the first round to the Milwaukee Bucks. Ball, 25, is currently in the second year of a four-year, $80 million deal with the Bulls.