CHICAGO — After spending the summer rehabbing in Los Angeles and seeking different opinions from knee specialists, Bulls guard Lonzo Ball said he still can’t run or jump without feeling pain in his left knee, which is why he is scheduled to undergo another arthroscopic knee surgery Wednesday.
« There was a point where we would warm up and stuff, and I would go through certain days and it would be fine, » Ball said during a video call with reporters Tuesday. « Then whenever I got to real basketball activities, I just couldn’t do it. Unfortunately, this is what’s at hand and has to be dealt with. We feel like surgery, again, is the best option. »
The Bulls held their first team practice of the season Tuesday afternoon while Ball was in LA preparing for the second surgery on his left knee since January and third in his career — including a procedure in 2018 while he played for the Los Angeles Lakers. Ball said he would return to Chicago to be with the team for his rehab following the surgery.
« For me, this will be my third surgery, so this time around I really don’t want to rush anything, » he said.
The Bulls said Ball is scheduled to be reevaluated in four to six weeks following his surgery, but both the team and Ball hesitated to put a timeline on his return this season. However, Ball did not believe his knee would cause him to miss the entire campaign.
« That’s not in my mind right now, but that would be the worst-case scenario, » Ball said. « I’m at a point now where I know I can’t get back out there until I’m comfortable playing and can actually play. So whenever that day comes, that’s when I’ll have the jersey back on. »
Not only has Ball been limited in his activities on the basketball court, but he said he is having issues walking up stairs and with everyday movements. The lingering discomfort in his knee has left doctors, the team and Ball surprised by his prolonged issues. He said surgery this week was as much about identifying the issues as it was fixing it.
« From my understanding they’re going in there to see what it is, » Ball said. « Because it’s not necessarily showing up on the MRI, but it’s clear that there’s something there that’s not right. So they’re going to go in, look at it, and whatever needs to be done is going to be done.
« I’ve never felt pain like this or was able to ramp up a little bit but never fully, so definitely a unique situation. The doctors and the Bulls, we’re all trying to figure out what it is. Like I said, we all came to the conclusion that it’s time for surgery. »