Lonzo Ball provides injury update on the premiere episode of his new podcast

Lonzo Ball provides injury update on the premiere episode of his new podcast originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

All eyes are on the Bulls this offseason to see how they plan to improve their roster after finishing a second straight season missing the playoffs.

Bulls Vice President Artūras Karnišovas admitted change is on the way for the organization.

“I am going to look at the totality of the group. This group hasn’t worked,” Karnišovas said at the team’s end-of-the-season press conference. “There’s a lot of great things in certain individual players and a lot of young guys who took a step forward and it’s positive. But in totality as a group, it didn’t work. So I’m going to have to find these answers in offseason.”

One of the most significant puzzle pieces to the Bulls’ roster is Lonzo Ball.

Ball hasn’t played on an NBA floor in over two years. He’s undergone three separate surgeries on his right knee since January 2022, the last of which included a cartilage transplant. Although, he’s finally on an upward trajectory this offseason to return to the floor.

He shared an update on his status on his new podcast, “What an Experience.”

“It’s coming along, man. Week by week,” Ball shared at the top of the podcast. “It’s improving, so that’s all I can ask for. Still not where I want it to be. Out of 100 (percent), I’d say I’m about 70 (percent). Good enough to play, but it could still get better. I still got a long summer ahead of me. But definitely looking forward to the future.”

This is undoubtedly the closest Ball has come to returning to an NBA floor in 2.5 years. There were early instances in Ball’s rehab when he couldn’t perform everyday tasks without pain, such as walking up stairs or jumping.

It’s a pivotal offseason for Ball, who’s going into the final year of the four-year deal he struck with the Bulls in the summer of 2021. In the first week of May, Ball assured that, picking up his player option worth $21.3 million on the last year of his contract.

On the radio with 670 The Score during the first week of April, Ball’s father, LaVar, projected his son has 4-to-5 months before he can play 5-on-5 basketball with full contact. A four-month timeline from LaVar’s projection slates Lonzo to return around August; a return closer to five months would put him in early September.

With the 2024 NBA Draft slated to commence on June 27, and NBA free agency opening three days after that, Ball creates a difficult timeline for the Bulls to figure out his place during a turning point in the organization.

At the team’s end-of-season press conference, Vice President Artūras Karnišovas said change will come this offseason for the Bulls roster. In laying out his plan, he said they would “wait and see” on Ball’s health.

“We’re just going to wait and see his progression the next couple of months,” Karnisovas said. “He’s progressing well. Everything is looking with no setbacks. So we’ll see where he’s at in a couple of months.”

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