CHICAGO -- The Bulls are going to "pull back" the rehab process on guard Lonzo Ball's left knee for the next 10 days, coach Billy Donovan said prior to Monday night's 113-99 win against the Toronto Raptors.
Ball will continue strength training, but will not continue his running program after hitting a plateau in his rehab. It will push him past the initial six-to-eight week recovery timeline the team estimated after Ball's arthroscopic knee surgery in January.
"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.
Ball has not played since Jan. 14 when he was sidelined with what was initially deemed a bone bruise. He did not respond to the initial treatment on his knee before a procedure was deemed necessary to repair a slight meniscus tear.
In 35 games this season, Ball was averaging 13.0 points, 5.4 rebounds and 5.1 assists in his first season in Chicago.
A 10-day pause in Ball's rehab takes the Bulls through the end of March with only five games remaining in the regular season after April 1. Donovan did not want to speculate whether Ball would return before the end of the season, but he acknowledged an increasingly tight timeline.
"We'll have a better feel of that once they get through this next 10 days," Donovan said. "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.
"But we can't even get him into that until he gets over that hump, so I don't want to speculate what may or may not happen after 10 days."