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Lonzo Ball

Getty Bulls guard Lonzo Ball.

Chicago Bulls point guard Lonzo Ball hasn’t played since January due to a left knee injury. The UCLA product underwent surgery on January 28 to address a meniscus tear and bone bruise and the Bulls said Ball would be out six-to-eight weeks.

However, that won’t happen since Ball’s rehab is going slower than expected. The Bulls are pausing Ball’s running for the next 10 days, according to head coach Billy Donovan, which means the team will be without its do-it-all floor general for the foreseeable future.

“It’s not necessarily he’s had any setbacks, it’s just that we have not been able to take that next step,” Donovan said, via NBC Sports Chicago. “With the doctors talking, our medical guys, the feeling was kind of let’s pull back on what he’s doing … take a break on the running and try to ramp him up.”

Every time Ball has ramped up his recovery process, the bone bruise in his knee has flared up, which is why the Bulls want the youngster to stop running for 10 days.

Bone Bruise Still Bothering Ball

Although Ball’s bone bruise is healthier now than it was at the time of the surgery in January, Donovan has cited it as the source of that distress each time Ball attempts to sprint or cut.

“There’s definitely a bone bruise there, it’s still showing some bruising. I think that’s maybe part of the thing is to pull him back, to let it maybe heal,” Donovan said, via NBC Sports Chicago. “He has shown significant healing in that area, so I don’t want to make it seem like he hasn’t healed. That bone bruise is significantly healed and has gotten better. But for some reason they’re trying to figure out why he’s having this discomfort. And some of it could be he’s got a little bit of bruising there and he’s still banging on that bruising and maybe shutting it down.”

Ball has appeared in 35 games this season. He was averaging 13.0 points, 5.4 rebounds and 5.1 assists in his first year with the Bulls while shooting 42.3% from beyond the arc before getting hurt. Chicago was 22-13 when Ball was in the lineup. The team is now 41-29 and has missed Ball’s presence on both sides of the floor.

Will Ball Play Again This Season?

Time is running out for Ball to return before the playoffs start. Donovan, who is in his second season with the Bulls, will have a better idea in April if his star guard will play again in 2021-22.

“I think we’ll have a better feel of that once they get through this next 10 days,” Donovan said, via NBC Sports Chicago. “Obviously it’s coming to the end of the season, certainly the last game’s, what, April 10 and we’re at the end of March right now. So I haven’t really asked that question to the medical of where they’re at.

“I think that they felt like, ‘OK if he can, over this 10-day period, really get back to the ramp-up period,’ … that would enable him to get back into contact relatively soon. But we can’t even get him into that until he gets over that hump, so I don’t want to speculate what may or may not happen after 10 days. I think once that comes we’ll have a better idea of where he’s physically at and what he’s physically capable of.”

The Bulls were in first place in the East at one point this season. They are currently in fifth place.

Source: Heavy

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