Lonzo Ball is about to be closed for the season

Signs pointed to Lonzo Ball not playing for the Bulls again this season, and it looks like that worst-case scenario is indeed coming to fruition. Bulls head coach Billy Donovan said before Tuesday’s game against the Bucks, Ball is still feeling knee discomfort as he tries to speed things up for a return to play, and he noted that a final decision will be made on the status of the goaltender in the coming days.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Shams Charania of Athletics and Stadium soon, the two reported the likelihood that Ball would be closed for the rest of the season.

The ball hasn’t been played since January 14 due to a partially torn left meniscus and a bone bruise in the same knee. The keeper underwent surgery two weeks later and was initially given a 6-8 week schedule. However, the knee just didn’t respond well to the acceleration process, with this bone bruise on top of the meniscus tear. turning out to be tricky. The Bulls even recently tried to stop Ball from running for 10 days, to no avail.

Although this news is expected at this point, it is nonetheless disappointing. Ball was having a great season after the Bulls made it a priority last summer (you could say he was too much a priority), bringing dynamic transition play, excellent passing, sniper 3-point shooting and disruptive defense to the fold. He’s arguably the only true two-way player on this list, and his presence was sorely missed as the Bulls fell off a cliff at both ends and dropped in the standings in the process. Any hope of making a playoff is now probably dead, even if he was probably dead regardless.

Ball finishes this season averaging 13.0 points, 5.4 rebounds, 5.1 assists, 1.8 steals and 0.9 blocks. He had a career-high 42.3% overall and 42.3% from 3-point range on 7.4 attempts from deep per game.

The worry now is whether it will be a long term problem. Ball has an injury history, had surgery on that same knee in 2018 and has never played more than 63 games in a season. Good as it is, it’s a legitimate concern.