The Latest Lonzo Ball Injury Update Still Isn't Great

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The Latest Lonzo Ball Injury Update Still Isn’t Great

Chicago Bulls

Lonzo Ball’s recovery still isn’t going as planned.

The Chicago Bulls’ starting point guard went down in mid-January with a small meniscus tear. Initially expected to return before the start of the playoffs, Ball found himself on the bench for the remainder of the season. The wheels fell off quickly for the Bulls without their expert playmaker, as we watched them tumble to the East’s sixth seed and face a swift five-game exit in the first round.

Still, with a full offseason ahead, the expectation was (at the time) that Ball would at least get his body right to resume his key role at the start of next season. The recent updates on his rehab, however, haven’t been quite so optimistic.

While head coach Billy Donovan did recently say the point guard was making “progress” and all reports “were good,” Arturas Karnisovas splashed some cold water on his recovery process on Tuesday afternoon:

“He’s progressing. That’s as much as I can say. But he’s getting better. Probably not at the speed that we would like, but he’s getting better,” Karnisovas said live on NBATV. “So, hopefully, he’s going to be ready for training camp. That’s just our hope.”

Again, the use of “progressing” and “getting better” can be seen as a positive, but the continued use of this verbiage doesn’t inspire the most confidence. The team can’t even say with confidence that he’ll be ready for the start of training camp, which leads me to believe that can’t say with confidence he’ll be ready for the start of the regular season. The fact this much mystery still revolves around Ball’s health after nearly seven months on the sideline simply isn’t encouraging.

Things only feel that much grimmer when we factor in NBC Sports Chicago’s K.C. Johnson’s recent report.

“Multiple sources told NBC Sports Chicago that Ball’s current workout regimen has featured similar starts and stops, Johnson wrote in an article addressing Karnisovas’ comments. “In other words, Ball still occasionally experiences discomfort when he increases his workload.

If team personnel can say he’s making some progress, then I guess this discomfort is popping up less and less. But we’re still reportedly talking about a choppy rehab process months after he should have been fully healthy. How can we confidently believe he’ll be ready for the start of the season – let alone stay healthy when he is?

The decision to draft an NBA-ready perimeter defender in Dalen Terry, as well as sign a steady veteran hand in Goran Dragic, makes more and more sense. The Bulls could very well be preparing for another stretch without one of their best players (or at least a new plan where they have to more closely monitor his minutes).

The only positive I can offer right now is the fact that two months remain of this offseason. All things considered, that’s still a lot of time for Ball to suddenly experience the jump we’re all waiting for. I guess we also can’t rule out the idea that the front office is playing coy so as to not set expectations too high. In other words, perhaps there is an internal belief he’ll be ready for training camp, but they want to save their butt in case he does face another setbak.

Regardless, what we know right now on Ball unsettles the stomach. Let’s hope a more positive update comes our way soon.

Author: Elias Schuster

Elias Schuster is the Lead Bulls Writer at Bleacher Nation. You can follow him on Twitter @Schuster_Elias.