Bulls settle guard Lonzo Ball (knee) out rest of season

jamal necklaceESPN2 minute read

CHICAGO — Chicago Bulls goaltender Lonzo Ball will miss the remainder of the 2022-23 season, the team announced Tuesday morning, as Ball continues to experience discomfort during basketball activities despite having arthroscopic surgery knee before the season.

Ball hasn’t appeared in a game this season and hasn’t played since January 14, 2022. He has had two surgeries on his left knee since then – in late January 2022 and again in September at the start of training camp – but despite some small improvements in recent months, he still couldn’t run, cut or jump without pain.

“Despite significant increases in strength and function over the past several months, Ball continues to experience performance-limiting discomfort when participating in high-level basketball-related activities,” the VP said. of the Bulls, Arturas Karnisovas, in a team statement. “Given the period of time required to reach the fitness level necessary for return to play and the current stage of the NBA season, Ball will not be returning this season. The focus for Ball will continue to be on resolving of his discomfort and a full return for the 2023-24 season.”

News of Ball’s closure was expected given that Ball, 25, hasn’t been able to step up basketball activity all season without experiencing discomfort. He misses the entire 2022-23 campaign, the second year of a four-year, $80 million contract with Chicago.

During his first season with the Bulls, Ball appeared in 35 games and averaged 13.0 points, 5.1 assists and 5.4 rebounds and shot 42% from 3. His presence on the field as a setter, shooter and defender has been a catalyst for the team. to a 27-13 start in 2021-22.

However, the Bulls failed to replicate his production at point guard during his absence, going 45-56 in the regular season since Ball’s last game. Chicago entered the All-Star break on a six-game losing streak at 26-33 and was in 11th place in the Eastern Conference.

With Ball officially sidelined, the Bulls are adding reinforcements at the point guard, finalizing a deal with guard Patrick Beverley and should waive center Tony Bradley to make room on the roster, sources tell Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. The team hopes Beverley can provide a spark in the locker room and add some production at point guard to help Ball’s absence as the team pushes for the playoffs.

“The Bulls have been chasing me for the last two years,” Beverley said on her podcast Tuesday morning. “I figured I could make a playoff push with the Bulls right now and pump them up a bit. The East is a little weak, you guess? No disrespect to anyone in the East, but a lot of people went to the West. So I’m excited, I’m excited.

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