Despite stating that he won’t play in the 2023–24 NBA season, Lonzo Ball of the Chicago Bulls revealed that after receiving a cartilage transplant in his left knee in March, he felt “on track” to come back again.
Ball, who hasn’t played in an NBA game since January 14, 2022, said during an appearance on the “From the Point by Trae Young” podcast that his recovery has been lengthy. However, he feels optimistic after having undergone three surgeries on his knee since his last game. Ball also feels disappointed about what could have been had he stayed healthy with the Bulls.
“I feel bad, just for the [Bulls’] GMs because I feel like they made the perfect team around me. I felt like that was the most I’ve ever been involved in an organization. And I finally got the perfect team that I felt like could fit my game and play my way and really just do what I wanted to do.”Lonzo Ball
Ball played 35 games for the Bulls in the 2021–2022 season as part of a four-year, $80 million contract. Injuries have sadly kept him off the court since then. On draft night in June, Bulls vice president Arturas Karnisovas stated that the franchise did not anticipate Ball to play this year.
Before Ball’s injury that season, Chicago had the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference. The team was off to a 27-13 start before he injured his knee and led the conference for the majority of the first half of the year. Despite falling to Miami in the Play-In tournament without him and finishing 40-42 the previous season, the squad could not make up for his absence.
“At least now, I got the surgery. We got a plan moving forward. We’ve been on plan. I’m on track. Hopefully, everything works out. I just leave it up to God and do the best I can and live with the results.”Lonzo Ball
Ball will look to return to the NBA once he rehabs from his injury after this season. There’s no telling how good the Bulls could have been with a healthy Ball. However, there is no denying that they were off to a hot start with him manning the point guard slot.