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Bulls' Lonzo Ball to undergo cartilage transplant in left knee

The guard has been ruled out for the 2022-23 season and reportedly may miss most of next season.

Lonzo Ball has been sidelined since Jan. 14, 2022, with a lingering knee injury.

Chicago Bulls guard Lonzo Ball will undergo a third surgery on his left knee and be out indefinitely, according to the team.

Ball requires a cartilage transplant, which could sideline him for most of next season, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

According to Wojnarowski, there is concern about Ball’s ability to resume his basketball career. This procedure reportedly “will give him a pathway to play again.”

“My main focus has been on returning to the court and getting to a place where I can rejoin my teammates,” Ball said in a statement from the team. “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.”

Ball had already undergone two surgeries on his knee since Jan. 14, 2022, which is the last time he played a game for Chicago. After the most recent surgery in September, Ball was scheduled to be reevaluated in 4-6 weeks, ut he has been unable to participate in basketball-related activities without experiencing discomfort.

“I continue to admire Lonzo’s perseverance throughout this journey,” said Bulls Exec. VP of Basketball Operations Artūras Karnišovas. “This has been a long and challenging road for him, and this decision has been a difficult one to make. The organization is behind him, and he has our full support. Our training and medical staff continue their commitment to Lonzo’s rehabilitation and to working with him throughout this next phase to ensure his healthy return to basketball.”

Ball, the No. 2 overall draft pick in 2017, signed with Chicago prior to the 2021-22 season. He averaged 13.0 points, 5.4 rebounds and 5.1 assists over 35 games last season prior to suffering this knee injury.