It’s been a long road for Chicago Bulls point guard Lonzo Ball. Since originally injuring his knee and undergoing surgery several months ago, Ball has had a frustrating rehab process.
Prior to the season, Ball had to go under the knife once more, having a second surgery in order to clean things up a bit. At that point, a couple of months ago, Ball was still having pain on the daily. That pain was coming during everyday life, too, even just walking up the stairs.
Bulls fans thought that update was bad… just wait until they hear the latest from head coach Billy Donovan.
Prior to the Bulls’ game against the Phoenix Suns on Wednesday night, Donovan gave us an update on Ball’s status, and it seemed like we were hearing more of the same, quite frankly.
“It’s been really slow. I’m just being honest.”
If the Chicago Bulls are without Lonzo Ball for a few months, they can kiss this season goodbye.
Donovan went on to say that it’s hard for him to give any specific update on Ball’s situation, which is somewhat familiar to what we’ve heard in the past.
“He is better after the surgery, I will say that, but is he completely pain-free? No, and that’s what they’re working towards. Or, at least, if he does have some pain, he’s able to play through some of it, work through some of it.
The fact that Ball is “better” after his most recent surgery is a positive. But, he’s still not pain-free, which is a little alarming. In January, we will be a year removed from his original injury.
Also in January, the Bulls could still be a meddling .500 team, hovering a game or two under and looking as inconsistent as ever. That’s been the story this season. The Bulls have gotten up for some big games, beating the Boston Celtics twice and also taking down the Milwaukee Bucks.
But, they have also lost a good amount of games they should have otherwise won. Without Ball’s presence, this is a completely different team.
Zach LaVine has been atrocious this season. Nikola Vucevic has yet again been inconsistent, giving us a great game one night and then a down night the next.
DeMar DeRozan has been the only constant, this year. He’s carried the team. Even Ayo Dosunmu has been relatively good, but he hasn’t been what Ball is to this team.
Without Ball’s court vision and IQ, and his smarts on defense, this team is a far cry from where they found themselves early last season. If Ball continues to progress slowly, the Bulls can wave goodbye to this season.