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#pounditWednesday, July 24, 2024

Lonzo Ball suffering setback in his recovery?

Lonzo Ball holds the ball

Dec 19, 2021; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Chicago Bulls guard Lonzo Ball (2) brings the ball up court against the Los Angeles Lakers during the first half at United Center. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

Lonzo Ball appears to be taking one step forward and two steps back.

Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times reported this week that the Bulls are having even more concerns about Ball’s recovery from his longstanding left knee injury. Cowley notes that the Bulls had been hoping that Ball would start sprinting in January. But that still has not happened yet with the calendar now about to flip to March.

Speaking with reporters on Tuesday, Bulls head coach Billy Donovan acknowledged that Ball’s progress has been going slowly.

“I don’t know if he’s stuck,” Donovan was quoted as saying of Ball. “He is doing some shooting, some running, some jumping. He hasn’t done any sprinting yet, that I know.

“He needs to develop more strength in his leg,” Donovan added. “Because of him having that surgery and being off his leg so long. Before he’s really able to ramp up, I think they want him to get to a place physically that relates to his quad strength, hamstring strength, before he starts to really do that.”

It has now been over 25 months since the former No. 2 overall pick Ball last played an NBA game (on Jan. 14, 2022). He has undergone three different procedures on his troublesome left knee over that span and has had to fight off certain unsavory claims about his health.

Ball provided some reason for encouragement with the recent footage of him shooting and cutting in the gym. But based on this latest report, he may still have a very long way to go to even be ready for next season (for which Ball holds a $21.4 million player option as the final year of a four-year, $80 million contract).

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