On a night where Patrick Williams will make his highly-anticipated return, we got more bad news about Lonzo Ball.
Head coach Billy Donovan told reporters before tonight’s game that Ball will have to pause running for the next 10 days. Donovan seemed to keep the same tone from last week, stating that while there haven’t been any “setbacks” in Ball’s recovery, he also hasn’t been able to take the necessary steps forward.
Lonzo Ball will stop running on his knee for the next 10 days, per Billy Donovan. They’ve been trying to ramp him up but he hasn’t responded well
— Jamal Collier (@JamalCollier) March 21, 2022
This will take Ball past the 6-8 week window the Bulls originally placed on Ball’s return. https://t.co/NhF9gpWkIu
— K.C. Johnson (@KCJHoop) March 21, 2022
Billy on Lonzo: "It's not necessarily that he's had any setbacks, it's just that we have not been able to take that next step."
— Will Gottlieb (@wontgottlieb) March 21, 2022
With Ball sidelined for the next 10 days, he will officially surpass the original 6-8 week recovery timeline the Bulls set for his knee surgery. Ball has not played since January 14th, and the recent news puts his availability for the regular season in real question.
Chicago will have just 11 games left on the schedule after tonight’s meeting with the Toronto Raptors. Their final contest before the postseason will come on April 10th on the road against the Minnesota Timberwolves. If Ball will not resume any kind of running until March 31st, it’s hard to believe we can expect him to fully gear up for a return by that final contest. Perhaps the playoffs – which are set to begin on April 16th – can present a more reasonable timeline for him to rejoin the starting lineup.
However, it’s truly hard to predict anything until we see some kind of progress. All we can do right now is hope this time off can give his knee the rest it needs to begin a relatively quick ramp up.