Chicago Bulls guard Lonzo Ball is at a crossroads.
According to the NBA team, Ball, who has been with the team since 2021, will undergo a cartilage transplant on his left knee. He will not play the rest of the 2022-23 season and he may miss most of next season.
This is the third time Ball will have surgery on his knee since joining the Bulls.
Injury Update: Lonzo Ball will undergo a cartilage transplant in his left knee. He will remain out indefinitely.
Tap below for quotes from Lonzo & AK:
— Chicago Bulls (@chicagobulls) March 16, 2023
Ball released a statement through the Bulls:
“My main focus has been on returning to the court and getting to a place where I can rejoin my teammates. This has been a frustrating process, but I’m confident these next steps are the best path forward. 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.”
Ball has already been through two knee surgeries, including in September, since his last NBA game in January 2022. He has yet to partake in any basketball-related activities without experiencing discomfort.
“I continue to admire Lonzo’s perseverance throughout this journey,” said Bulls Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations Artūras Karnišovas. “This has been a long and challenging road for him, and this decision has been a difficult one to make. The organization is behind him, and he has our full support. Our training and medical staff continue their commitment to Lonzo’s rehabilitation and to working with him throughout this next phase to ensure his healthy return to basketball.”
Ball was drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers as the No. 2 overall draft pick in 2017. He was then traded to the New Orleans Pelicans in 2019, where he played for two years before a sign-and-trade deal sent him to the Chicago Bulls. He was averaging 13 points, 5.4 rebounds and 5.1 assists in 35 games until his injury.
Lonzo is the oldest of the Ball brothers, who all play professional basketball. LiAngelo is currently in the NBA G League and the youngest, LaMelo, plays for the Charlotte Hornets.