The Chicago Bulls have officially shut down point guard Lonzo Ball for the remainder of the NBA season, executive vice president of basketball operations Artūras Karnišovas said in a statement shared on the team's website Tuesday (February 21).
“Despite making significant increases in strength and function over the past several months, Bulls guard Lonzo Ball continues to experience performance limiting discomfort during participation in high level basketball-related activities," Karnišovas said. "Considering the required time period to achieve the necessary level of fitness to return-to-play and the current stage of the NBA season, Ball will not return this season. The focus for Ball will continue to be on the resolution of his discomfort and a full return for the 2023-24 season.”
Ball, 25, has undergone two surgeries on his knee since suffering the injury on January 14, 2022, with his most recent surgery taking place in September 2022. The guard was scheduled to be reevaluated 4-6 weeks after the procedure, but has been unable to participate in any basketball-related activities without feeling discomfort.
Ball was selected by the Los Angeles Lakers at No. 2 overall in the 2017 NBA Draft and traded to the New Orleans Pelicans as part of the Lakers' acquisition of All-Star big man Anthony Davis in 2019 before signing with the Bulls in 2021. The 25-year-old averaged 13.0 points, 5.4 rebounds and 5.1 assists in 35 games during his first season in Chicago before suffering the knee injury.
The Bulls are currently 11th in the Eastern Conference standings, two games behind the Toronto Raptors for the final play-in seed.