With Patrick Williams officially joining the Windy City Bulls on Thursday night, we knew his return was right around the corner. Now, head coach Billy Donovan has confirmed there is a “very real” chance Williams could rejoin the team as soon as Monday night against the Toronto Raptors or Tuesday night against the Milwaukee Bucks.
Knowing he’s currently with the organization’s G-League affiliate, we should get even more clarity on when Williams may suit up this Sunday. The Windy City Bulls play at 1:00 p.m. CT, and the organization has not yet ruled out the possibility of Williams appearing in that contest. Of course, if the Bulls did decide to have Williams play in that game, he surely wouldn’t be told to play in three-straight games.
Regardless, the message is clear: Bulls fans will see Patrick Williams this week for the first time since October, and that is so darn exciting.
What’s the opposite of exciting, though, is the non-update we received on Lonzo Ball. According to Donovan, while there has been no “set-back” in Ball’s rehab, there has also been little progress. Ball has yet to take the necessary steps forward to do anything at full speed. Again, there doesn’t seem to be any kind of new issue, but he simply isn’t recovering at the rate many of us initially expected.
More Billy Donovan on Lonzo Ball:
“He hasn’t gone backward. He just has not been able to go forward far enough to do the things that he’s going to need to be able to do to play."
— Cody Westerlund (@CodyWesterlund) March 19, 2022
Today is 7 weeks since surgery. Initial timeline was 6-8 weeks. Donovan has said it's the bone bruise giving him discomfort issues
"He hasn't gone backwards. He just has not been able to go forward far enough to do the things he's gonna need to be able to do to play."
— Rob Schaefer (@rob_schaef) March 19, 2022
As NBC Sports Chicago’s Rob Schaefer notes, Ball is now seven weeks into a recovery timeline that originally sat at 6-8 weeks. With no recent progress made, it’s becoming increasingly clear Ball will need more than just an additional week to get caught up to speed.
I’m no doctor, and I wouldn’t say Donovan provided the most detailed update, but it’s hard not to be concerned about where Ball is at. There is no question the Bulls need his two-way skillset on the floor to play their best basketball, so not knowing when they will get that back with the playoffs less than a month away is … scary.