Lonzo Ball was averaging 13 points, 5.4 rebounds and 5.1 assists in his first season with the Bulls before getting injured.
Chicago Bulls point guard Lonzo Ball has suffered a setback and will pause his knee rehab for at least 10 days. Speaking to reporters on Monday prior to the team’s game with the Toronto Raptors, head coach Billy Donovan said that Ball will continue strength work but will take a break from running.
“The feeling was, let’s really pull back on what he’s doing and let’s let him, I don’t want to use the word rest because it’s not like he’s sitting around doing nothing — he’ll do strength training and those kind of things — but take a break on the running and trying to ramp him up,” Donovan said.
“We’ll have a better feel of that once they get through this next 10 days,” Donovan continued. “Obviously, it’s coming to the end of the season. … I think that they felt like, ‘OK if he can, over this 10-day period, really get back to the ramp-up period, because he has been out for quite some time,’ that would enable him to get back into contact relatively soon.”
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Ball has not played since Jan. 14 with what the team initially thought was a knee bruise. Further evaluation later revealed that he had suffered a torn meniscus, and he underwent surgery to address the issue on Jan. 28. The initial timeline for Ball’s recovery was six-to-eight weeks, but he will now be out longer than that.
While that’s not the news the Bulls were hoping for, the most important thing is getting Ball back at 100 percent. If that takes a few extra weeks, then that’s what has to happen. He’s an integral part of their team in both the present and the future, and putting the long-term health of his knee at risk is not worth a few extra games this season — no matter how much the team needs him back on the court.
Ball was averaging 13 points, 5.4 rebounds and 5.1 assists in his first season with the Bulls before getting injured, and was a vital part of their perimeter defense alongside Alex Caruso. While other players have missed time as well, the Bulls were 27-12 when Ball went down, and are 14-17 since then. Along the way, their defense has fallen off a cliff, and they are now the 21st ranked defense in the league, allowing 112.1 points per 100 possessions.
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