Lonzo Ball confirms he will miss the season after recent surgery, and wonders “what if” after Bulls’ struggle

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Lonzo Ball confirmed on Monday that he will not be taking to the field this season following his recent knee surgery.

Paul, who hasn’t played in an NBA game since January 2022, can’t help but wonder how things would have turned out differently for the Chicago Bulls had he not been hurt. The Bulls were sitting in first place in the Eastern Conference when they first went down with a knee injury during the 2021-22 season, then failed to make it out of the first round of the playoffs just a few months later.

Paul said, “It’ll be a big what-if.” On the “From the Point by Trae Young” podcast on monday. “For me, I feel bad for just (Chief of Basketball Operations Arturas Karnicovas) because I feel like they made the perfect team around me. I felt like this was the most I was involved in in any organization and finally got the perfect team that I felt could fit my game and play my way.” And it does what I really want to do.

“That injury, I still have it at the moment, but that injury only spoiled me early on because I felt like we had a chance and we just couldn’t see what it was.”

Paul first signed a four-year, $80 million deal with the Bulls in 2021. He looked great in Chicago early on, too. He averaged 13 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 5.1 assists in 35 games during the 2021-22 season, leading the Bulls to the top of the Eastern Conference standings.

However, Paul went down due to a meniscus injury, and his last match was on January 14, 2022. Since then, he has undergone three different surgeries. Her last cartilage transplant was in March. The rehabilitation process, especially early on, was stressful. He reportedly couldn’t even run or jump after the second surgery.

Lonzo Ball hasn't played an NBA game since January 14, 2022, and won't be on the field until next fall at best.

Lonzo Ball hasn’t played an NBA game since January 14, 2022, and won’t be on the field until next fall at best. (Michael Reeves / Getty Images)

Karnishovas said during the NBA draft earlier this year that the team did not expect her to play ball at all during the 2023-24 season. If that is indeed the case and he does not play ball again until the start of the 2024-25 season, he will have missed nearly 33 months.

While the string of injuries has been incredibly disappointing, and the Bulls failed to get out of the championship game last season without him, Paul is finally hopeful.

“When I first got hit, we didn’t really know what had happened,” said Paul. “I was seeing all kinds of different doctors and things. I was just kind of up and down. It was really hard for me because I didn’t know what the next day was going to be like.

“For now at least, I’ve had the surgery. We have a plan moving forward. We’ve been on the plan. I’m on the right track. Hopefully everything works out. I just leave it to God and do my best and live with the results.”

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