Another surgery for Lonzo Ball? Bulls guard might need a third procedure, report says

Making plans for the future was already a challenge for the Bulls, then a report arrived Thursday morning from ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski saying injured guard Lonzo Ball faces a "growing possibility" of needing a third surgical procedure on his ailing left knee.

Ball hasn't played in a game since Jan. 14, 2022 and there was already no return in sight, but certainly a hope he might be ready for next season.

Ball is under contract for two more years at a total of $41.8 million, so the Bulls don't have much choice but to wait and hope he gets healthy. The Bulls had a 27-13 record last season when Ball left the lineup.

Ball's first arthroscopic procedure was in late January 2022 with the hope he'd be able to return for the playoffs. That obviously didn't happen and when Ball continued feeling pain in the knee, he had a second surgery on Sept. 28. This actually wasn't the start of his knee issues. Ball had an arthroscopic surgery on the left knee after his rookie season with the Lakers in 2018.

A significant question for the Bulls this summer will be whether they should try to acquire a new starting point guard or continue with veteran Patrick Beverley and second-year Ayo Dosunmu with the hope Ball might be ready to return at some point next season.

This has already reached the point where there's concern the injury could be career-ending. It's been no secret Ball's progress has been slow. The team officially declared him out for the season last month.

Ball posted a video on Instagram earlier this season of him running on a treadmill.

According to the ESPN report, he hasn't been able to run, cut or jump without experiencing pain. A decision is expected to be made soon on if and when a surgery will be scheduled.

Meanwhile, the Bulls (30-36) delivered maybe their most impressive victory of the season Wednesday, winning by 21 on the road against West-leading Denver, which had all its key players available. The Bulls now have a couple days off before facing Houston on Saturday.

"We have to win every game," Zach LaVine said after the contest. "We are trying to win every game because this is the position we put ourselves in."

Twitter: @McGrawDHSports

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