Lonzo Ball undergoes successful surgery, out 6-8 weeks


Lonzo Ball's left knee surgery has been completed, starting the clock on a six-to-eight week recovery timeline, Chicago Bulls head coach Billy Donovan confirmed ahead of a road matchup with the Spurs on Friday.

"Everything went well," Donovan said. "Really no surprises after the surgery. Very, very successful from everything I heard this morning."

That Ball would require surgery on the knee — on which he had a similar procedure in 2018 — was announced by the team on Jan. 20. But the Bulls starting point guard required a period of rehab and strength work before going under the knife.

A six-to-eight week timeline from Jan. 28 establishes a potential window to return between March 11 and March 25. Ball has already missed seven games with the knee ailment, which was initially termed soreness, but since has been diagnosed as a combination of a bone bruise and meniscus tear. If he returns in that mid-March window, he could miss 19-to-26 more.

The bright side: Even a return at the later end of that window would see him back in advance of the start of the NBA Playoffs, which begin on April 16. And further imaging on the knee before surgery didn't budge Ball off his original rehab timeline.

The Bulls eagerly await his return. Ball, who was acquired via sign-and-trade last offseason and has been a linchpin of the team's success, is averaging 13 points, 5.4 rebounds, 5.1 assists and 1.8 steals while shooting a career-best 42.3 percent from 3-point range (7.4 attempts per game) in 35 appearances.

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