Officially, Lonzo Ball will be out 4-6 weeks after getting his knee scoped this week.
However, this is his second surgery on his left knee this year - he had meniscus surgery in January, after which he was never able to return to the court - and there are concerns Ball could miss significant time again. And coach Billy Donovan has no choice but to plan for an extended absence.
Ball did a Zoom call with reporters on Tuesday and it's hard to come away from what he said overly optimistic. Rob Schaefer reported on the call for NBC Sports Chicago:
It's never good when doctors are surprised. Ball said the doctors don't see anything on the MRI, but there is clearly something wrong, so they are going in and looking to find the issue and fix it.
Ball has been diligent in his recovery work from the start, the problem was pain in his knee. Something was still not right after the first surgery. Whatever it is.
The 4-6 week timeline would have Ball back in early November, but you know they will be overly cautious with him after the past year. Coach Billy Donovan was honest - he has to plan for a season without Ball.
The Bulls need Ball in a deep and challenging East. He brings defense, pushes the pace in transition, and takes care of the rock. Chicago has other players who can do those things individually - Alex Caruso can defend, Coby White pushes in transition, Goran Dragic takes care of the ball - but the Bulls lack one player who can do all those things. At least they lack one until Ball returns.
Whenever that may be.
Check out more on the Bulls
'Last Dance' Jordan jersey from 1998 Finals sells for $10.1 million Shaq calls Dennis Rodman the worst teammate he ever had Report: Bulls' Lonzo Ball expected to miss training camp, maybe start...
Lonzo Ball says 'I can't run' or jump; Bulls' Donovan has to plan for extended absence originally appeared on NBCSports.com