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Bulls expect Lonzo Ball to miss upcoming NBA season

Lonzo Ball #2 of the Chicago Bulls is not expected to return for the coming NBA season. Photo: Stacy Revere / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP

The Chicago Bulls expect Lonzo Ball to miss all of the 2023-24 NBA season as he continues to recover from a left knee injury that has required multiple surgeries.

“Everything is going well,” Bulls executive vice president of basketball operations Arturas Karnisovas said at a press conference to discuss the NBA draft on Thursday.

“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.”

Karnisovas said he still hoped to see Ball, who signed a four-year, $80 million deal with Chicago in 2021, on court for the Bulls “eventually.”

“But I do not think he’s going to be back next year,” Karnisovas said.

Ball, the second overall selection by the Los Angeles Lakers in the 2017 NBA Draft, hasn’t played since January 14, 2022 and underwent a third operation, a cartilage transplant, in March .

In a statement released by the team after that procedure Ball said it had been a “frustrating process.”

His first arthroscopic surgery in January 2022 was expected to sideline him for up to eight weeks.

But as pain continued he had another procedure in September of 2022 and in February the Bulls ruled him out for the remainder of the 2022-23 season.

Ball, the older brother of 2021 NBA Rookie of the Year LaMelo Ball, has averaged 11.9 points, 6.2 assists and 5.7 rebounds over 252 career NBA contests.

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