Last season, the Chicago Bulls got off to a hot start. They were one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference and looked like they could seriously contend in the East. However, by the end of the year, they had fallen off and were eventually beaten in the first round by the Milwaukee Bucks.
There are plenty of things that could be blamed for their downswing, but the main factor was injuries. Both Lonzo Ball and Alex Caruso suffered serious injuries that saw them miss significant time, and the Bulls were never able to recover.
While Caruso was eventually able to return to the team, Ball never made it back. He’s spent the offseason recovering with hopes of returning by next year. Unfortunately, recent intel has revealed that that won’t be a possibility. According to Jamal Collier and Ramona Shelbourne of ESPN, Ball will not participate in training camp and likely won’t be ready for the start of the season.
“Bulls guard Lonzo Ball is not expected to participate in training camp and is doubtful for the start of the regular season with lingering pain and discomfort following knee surgery in January, sources tell me and @ramonashelburne,” Collier tweeted out on September 2.
The two ESPN writers penned a story to go along with the announcement, revealing more details on the matter.
Ball Still Experiencing Pain in Knee
The Bulls point guard played his last game with Chicago on January 14, and since then, he’s been working toward getting his knee right. And while the knee is structurally sound, which is great news, Collier and Shelbourne noted that he was still feeling discomfort in recent workouts.
“While a source reiterated that Ball’s knee is structurally sound after he underwent arthroscopic surgery on Jan. 28, he continued to experience pain while attempting basketball activities as he spent the summer rehabbing in Los Angeles,” Collier and Shelbourne wrote.
In total, Ball appeared in 35 games for the Bulls last year, playing 34.6 minutes per game. He averaged 13.0 points, 5.4 rebounds, 5.1 assists, and 1.8 steals on 42.3% shooting from the field and 42.3% shooting from behind the three-point line.
In addition to the reports that he won’t participate in training camp, Collier and Shelbourne mentioned that he plans on getting further testing to determine the cause of the discomfort.
Ball Will Undergo Testing in Chicago
After working to rehab his knee all summer, Ball will soon return to Chicago, where he will be evaluated further. The goal will be to find the case of his discomfort.
“Ball will arrive in Chicago next week to undergo further evaluation by the team, but he is unlikely to participate when the Bulls begin training camp at the end of this month, sources said.
“Throughout the summer, the Bulls have remained vague about a potential timeline for Ball’s recovery while he has seen multiple knee specialists to determine the cause and treatments for the lingering pain and discomfort, sources said,” the two ESPN writers explained.
Not having Ball to begin the season would be a huge blow to a Bulls team that hopes to compete in the East this year, but for now, things aren’t looking too good.