The latest update on Lonzo Ball’s recovery from his March knee surgery is a promising one.
According to Ball himself, the former lottery pick has yet to hit a “standstill” in his recovery from the procedure.
“After the other surgeries, this one has definitely gone the best as far as [the] recovery process,” Ball told ESPN. “The last two rehab processes I had, I was getting better and then it just hit a standstill and it started going down. And I haven’t hit that yet.”
Ball, 25, didn’t play last season and is also expected to miss the entire upcoming campaign.
“Honestly, being out for as long as I’ve been out and all the injuries I have to deal with I think you just have to be positive,” he said. “First and foremost. If you lose your mind, you’re going to lose the battle. So it always starts with being positive and hoping for the best.”
The odds are stacked against Ball in many ways as he tries to return to the NBA, but he isn’t discouraged by that reality.
“It’s motivation for me because there’s been people that have been counted out,” Ball said. “For me, it’s about getting back and doing what I want to do and love to do, which is play basketball.”
Ball is under contract with the Chicago Bulls for the 2023-24 season (which he will miss) and has a player option for the 2024-25 season worth over $21 million. One has to imagine that he will exercise that option given what his injury woes have done to his overall stock.
If Ball does exercise that option and is able to return to NBA action in the 2024-25 season, the Bulls will get a chance to evaluate where he stands as a player. Chicago has only had him on the floor for 35 games since his stint with the organization began.
Simply returning to the league at all would be an accomplishment for the California native after his devastating surgeries and setbacks.
Ball was drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers in 2017, but he truly started to find himself as a player after his stint with L.A. ended. He has played five seasons in the league, and excluding his two years with the Lakers, he holds career averages of 13.1 points, 5.5 rebounds and 6.1 assists per game on 41.2 percent shooting from the field and 38.7 percent shooting from deep.
The point guard still has a long road ahead of him as he tries to make a return to the league, but it’s clear that he’s going to do everything in his power to keep his dreams alive. Countless fans are certainly rooting for the former No. 2 overall pick, as he has the talent and tools to be a very impactful player when he’s healthy.
Meanwhile, the Bulls will try to make the most of their upcoming season without him.