Lonzo Ball to have third knee surgery, may miss all of next season

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1) Lonzo Ball to have third knee surgery, may miss all of next season

For the third time in 14 months, Lonzo Ball will have surgery on his left knee.

That disturbing news came Thursday from the team and his agency, Klutch Sports. This time it is an operation — a cartilage transplant — that means he may also miss all of next season.

“This has been a frustrating process, but I’m confident these next steps are the best path forward,” Ball said in a statement. “The support of my family, friends, fans and medical staff throughout my recovery is what keeps me moving forward. I can’t wait to get back to what I love doing most – playing basketball.”

It’s fair to wonder if Ball will ever step on an NBA court again — which is devastating for a 25-year-old passionate about the game. He also proved to be exactly the kind of defender, outside shooter and guard who would push the pace that the Bulls needed in the 35 games he played for them. Ball has two seasons at $41.9 million remaining on his contract (the second season is a player option).

It also is part of a run of bad point guard injury luck with the Bulls, starting with Jay Williams, through Derrick Rose, to Ball.

Ball had surgery on the knee in January of 2022 and was expected back before the season ended, however, his recovery was slow and there was still pain. He had a second surgery in September. Recovery was slow from that surgery as well, and recently the Bulls shut him down for the remainder of this season. Now comes this third surgery and it’s a more radical procedure in an attempt to grow cartilage and put it in the knee.

“I continue to admire Lonzo’s perseverance throughout this journey,” Bulls Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations Artūras Karnišovas said in a statement. This has been a long and challenging road for him, and this decision has been a difficult one to make. The…

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Author : NBC Sports

Publish date : 2023-03-17 13:37:07

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