Chicago‘s executive vice president of basketball operations Arturas Karnisovas gave heartbreaking news this Thursday about Lonzo Ball’s injury situation, as the team doesn’t expect him to return for the entirety of next season.
“Everything is going well,” The Bulls VP said. “Going into the offseason, I think our expectation is that he’s not coming back next season and he’s going to continue on his recovery.
“If he comes back, it would be great but we’re just going to treat this offseason and getting ready for the season that he’s not going to be back.”
Take a look at how the press is already addressing the news coming from Illinois:
Ball, who back in 2021 signed a four-year, $80 million contract in Chicago, won’t be waived before the upcoming campaign comes to an end, as Karnisovas confirmed this was not part of their plans.
“I hope eventually we’re going to see him on a basketball court,” he claimed. “But I do not think he’s going to be back next year.”
Incredible as it may sound, the point guard hasn’t played a single basketball match since January 2022, back when he first suffered this frustrating left knee injury. Ever since, he’s endured three operations on his knee in a little over a year and finally stopped wearing crutches in May.
“My main focus has been on returning to the court and getting to a place where I can rejoin my teammates,” Ball released a statement back in March after succesfully overcoming cartilage surgery.
“This has been a frustrating process, but I’m confident these next steps are the best path forward. The support of my family, friends, fans and medical staff throughout my recovery is what keeps me moving forward. I can’t wait to get back to what I love doing most – playing basketball.”
The press that covers the Bulls admit that they’ve known about this news for some time and the team isn’t looking for replacements
Bulls insider David Kaplan confessed on ESPN’s “KJM” this morning that this news wasn’t a secret in the Chicago camp. According to the reporter, the most frustrating thing about it is that nobody feels the team is looking into the market to replace the star guard for this next competition.
“We already knew this, those of us who cover the team,” Kaplan revealed. “Here’s what is even more embarrasing, not hat he’s injured, that’s horrible, but there are people privately around the Chicago Bulls that are still counting on him. The fact that there are still people who believe in Lonzo still, or count on him, and you see all these other teams making moves and Chicago does nothing.”
The Chicago reporter ended his statement by adding: “It’s so disheartening.”
Ball had his first arthroscopic surgery back at the start of 2022 and was expected to make his return at least eight weeks later. Nine months after this, he went through an arthroscopic debridement on his left knee and was only expected to miss that start of last campaign.
Finally, it wasn’t until this past mid-February that the team finally ruled him out for the rest of the 2022/23 season.
Source: Basketball Insider