Chicago Bulls guard Lonzo Ball 'at a standstill' in recovery from torn meniscus in left knee

CHICAGO -- Chicago Bulls guard Lonzo Ball said Thursday he remains "at a standstill" in his recovery from a torn meniscus in his left knee. He will meet with a knee specialist next week to determine the next step in his recovery.

Ball had arthroscopic surgery on his knee in January and the team released an initial recovery timeline of six to eight weeks. But his knee never responded properly to the team's attempts to ramp up his basketball activity in the middle of March before he was shut down in early April.

"We kind of let it calm down for the last two weeks, I was going at it pretty hard trying to get back as fast as possible," Ball said at his exit interview at the team's practice facility on Thursday. "But like I said, at a standstill. I still have pain. Gotta get that figured out this summer for sure."

Ball, who played his last game on Jan. 14, was not sure whether he would require another surgery during the offseason.

"Hopefully not," he said. "I wouldn't want to have another one. But if that's what it takes, then I pretty much have no choice at this point."

Ball had a procedure to repair a meniscus tear in the same knee in July 2018, but returned for the start of training camp while he was a member of the Los Angeles Lakers. He also has a bone bruise in his knee but wasn't sure if that or the meniscus tear was causing the discomfort to linger.

"It's the same tear, this is the second time I tore it," Ball said. "Obviously something needs to be addressed this summer. A lot more leg workout as opposed to probably upper body. I'm going to work with the doctors and the strength coaches and do what I've got to do to get healthy."

Ball was limited to 35 games in his first season with Chicago, a career low for games played in his five-year career. He averaged 13.0 points, 5.4 rebounds and 5.1 assists while shooting 42.3% from 3.

"It's very frustrating," Ball said of the way his season ended. "This year, we had a lot of promise I felt like. And we had a lot of goals that I don't think were met, mainly due to a lot of health issues. You can't change the past. I think everything happens for a reason. For me, it's now about moving forward and getting ready for next year."