Lonzo Ball’s knee saga is still at least a few months from being over. After tearing his meniscus last January, Ball has undergone two surgeries and multiple rounds of physical therapy to help completely heal the injury. 

The first surgery was to correct the torn meniscus in his left knee. The Bulls had hoped Ball would be able to return for the playoffs last season, but lingering pain from a bone bruise kept him off the court through the post-season. Training in the offseason didn’t go as plan and Ball was still struggling with everyday movements, let alone basketball movements. That prompted the second arthroscopic debridement surgery in late September. Indications are that the surgery was done with the aim of both diagnosing the prolonged discomfort as well treating the injury. 

The Bulls have indicated a 4-6 week window after which Ball will be re-evaluated and rehab may begin. The good news is that the Bulls are expecting to have Ball back this season. The bad news is that he will likely have been off the court for a year by the time he’s finally back in basketball shape. 

While all signs are currently pointing in the right direction, it’s always worrisome to see a young player experiencing lingering knee issues. Such a lengthy recovery period also means longer rehab time and longer time for the player to find his rhythm on the court. We think a realistic return time for Ball would be after the first of the new year.