There is a growing possibility that Chicago Bulls guard Lonzo Ball will need a third surgical procedure on his left knee that likely would require another six months of recovery and rehabilitation, sources told ESPN on Thursday.
Ball, who hasn't appeared in an NBA game since Jan. 14, 2022, and has been ruled out for the 2022-23 season, has undergone two surgeries on that troublesome knee in the past 14 months. The belief is that a third surgery is likely necessary to give the former No. 2 overall draft pick his best opportunity to play again, sources said.
The Bulls and Ball's representatives with Klutch Sports are working together and consulting with specialists before a final decision on surgery is made, sources said, but a procedure sometime this month would further delay the possibility of Ball ramping up for a return next season.
Ball, 25, made incremental progress in recent months but has yet to be able to run, cut or jump without experiencing pain. He is completing the second season of a four-year, $80 million free agent contract with the Bulls -- a deal that started with tremendous promise in 2021-22.
In his first season after arriving from the New Orleans Pelicans, Ball averaged 13.0 points, 5.1 assists and 5.4 rebounds and shot 42% on 3-pointers. He played a significant role on offense and defense in leading Chicago to a 27-13 record before the injury.
Since Ball's absence, the Bulls have struggled and are now 30-36, 11th in the Eastern Conference.