Bulls' Ball post videos of knee rehab progress

Perhaps to commemorate the year anniversary of the last time he played in an NBA game, Bulls guard Lonzo Ball posted a visual rehab update Friday.

An Instagram post included four videos - Ball dunking off a two-step takeoff at the Advocate Center, donning boxing gloves and hitting a heavy bag, hopping off a platform and over a small hurdle on his surgically-repaired left knee, and running on a treadmill. A fifth entry on Ball's IG post was a throwback photo of his parents.

Ball hasn't spoken about the two arthroscopic surgeries he's had on his left knee since preseason. The visuals offered further proof he's making progress, however slow it may be.

"Those were things that maybe six weeks ago, he couldn't do," Bulls coach Billy Donovan said before Friday's game against Oklahoma City. "As much as they're little steps, it's still progress he's continuing to make. So it's progress, it's just really, really slow."

There's no telling when Ball might return to the court, if it even happens at all this season. Based on current evidence, the absolute best-case scenario would seem to be March.

"There's going to be a pretty significant ramp-up period for him before he can get back on the floor," Donovan said. "Once they say he's free to cut and sprint and take on contact and do all that stuff, that's just the first step of however long that's going to take."

The last time Ball took the court for the Bulls was Jan. 14, 2022, scoring 15 points in an ugly blowout loss to Golden State at the United Center. He had the first knee surgery in late January with the hope of returning in six to eight weeks. But when recovery stalled, a second surgery was performed on Sept. 28.

Donovan tried to give a more detailed explanation of Ball's current level of pain.

"The way it was explained to me was maybe doing those things (in the videos) six weeks ago, if 10 is excruciating and one's not bad, maybe he was at a seven or eight six weeks ago and now he's at like a two or a three," Donovan said. "Is there pain there? Yes, there's still some discomfort there, but not at the level it was six weeks ago."

In other injury news, DeMar DeRozan missed his second game with a right quad strain. The Bulls have one more home game Sunday against the Warriors before leaving for Paris to play a game against Detroit. So after Sunday, the Bulls will play just one game over seven days, so it makes sense to be cautious with DeRozan's injury.

DeRozan was seen putting up shots after Friday's shootaround.

"We're waiting a little bit longer," Donovan said. "We don't feel like it's anything serious. Definitely each day it has gotten better."

Twitter: @McGrawDHSports

LaVine, DeRozan lead Bulls past Jazz, but what if Markkanen had stayed?

Donovan has no regrets about Markkanen's limited success with Bulls

McGraw: New Year's resolutions for all the Bulls, from LaVine to Benny

DeRozan leaves with injury, then late Bulls rally falls short in Boston

DeRozan may miss first game due to injury for Bulls on Wednesday

LaVine scores 38, but Bulls lose in Washington without DeRozan

Article Comments
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the "flag" link in the lower-right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.