Bulls point guard Lonzo Ball opts for knee surgery, will miss 6 to 8 weeks
Ball’s left knee had been bothering him for more than a week, and, after he was sent home from a recent road trip and therapy didn’t work, further testing revealed a small tear in the meniscus. Ball chose surgery so he could return before the start of the playoffs.
Bulls guard Lonzo Ball has proved to be a quick decision-maker on the court. Now he has proved to be one off the court, too.
Just a few days after being sent home from a road trip Monday in Memphis withsoreness in his left knee, Ball decided Thursday to have surgery to repair a small tear in the meniscus in the joint. The Bulls said he will miss six to eight weeks.
On that timeline, Ball should be able to return at some point in March. That would give him time to get his rhythm back in time for the playoffs in mid-April.
Ball’s knee started acting up last week, and he was sent home early from the Bulls’ road trip to meet with doctors and start a rehab program. But coach Billy Donovan said that wasn’t working, so the medical staff was going to go in a different direction.
Donovan didn’t rule out surgery when discussing the matter Wednesday, but he didn’t think Ball was there yet. Things changed by Thursday.
‘‘That’s why there was a reason to get him back as soon as possible from Memphis,’’ Donovan said. ‘‘You just don’t want to waste days for any player. You want to make sure they’re able to see the doctors and the doctors are able to look at images.’’
Ball had a similar procedure on the knee in 2018 while playing for the Lakers.
With Ball out of the picture for a while and guard Zach LaVine also nursing a sore left knee that will keep him sidelined for at least three more games, look for rookie Ayo Dosunmu and Coby White to continue working as the starting backcourt.
Donovan will have to decide on a point guard, however, when LaVine returns. He can go with White or Dosunmu or do it by committee and have LaVine, guard Alex Caruso or forward DeMar DeRozan be the lead facilitator.