It always seemed to be heading this way. The Bulls announced Wednesday that “Lonzo Ball will undergo an arthroscopic debridement of his left knee” a week from now. Ball will then be reevaluated in 4-6 weeks.
The hope is this will finally fix the nagging knee issue that has been plaguing Ball since last season. While the meniscus is intact after his surgery in January, a troublesome bone bruise caused setback after setback as he tried to ramp up basketball activities.
We already knew Ball was doubtful for training camp and the start of the season. This at least puts a new timetable on things, but even after those 4-6 weeks, will Ball then need more time to really ramp things up and then get back to form? Six weeks from surgery is pushing things into mid-November. At this rate, I’m not expecting much from him until 2023, but maybe we’ll be pleasantly surprised.
One major question is why they waited so long to get this surgery after so many setbacks going back to last season and across the summer. The assumption is this was truly a last resort and the hope was that another surgery could be avoided, but one has to wonder if it would have just been better to get this done earlier in the summer when there was continued discomfort.
The Bulls do have a lot of depth in the backcourt, though nobody can truly replicate everything Ball brings to the table as the glue guy of this roster. The assumption is either Alex Caruso or Ayo Dosunmu will start in place of Ball, but I guess we can’t rule out Goran Dragic getting the nod either. Coby White is still here as well, and perhaps this will mean rookie Dalen Terry gets more of an opportunity. The Bulls could also look to bring in more outside help, but I’d be surprised at a significant move.
This is certainly not an ideal way to head into Media Day and training camp next week, especially after a quiet offseason. The Bulls will be facing an uphill battle in a competitive Eastern Conference, so we’ll see if the rest of the roster is up for the challenge with Ball officially set to miss more time.