Lonzo Ball wants to return during the 2022-2023 NBA season. But the Chicago Bulls point guard also understands that may prove to be unrealistic, per Bulls insider K.C. Johnson.

“Lonzo Ball talked today in Paris,” Johnson wrote on Twitter. “Said he’s remaining mentally strong after 1-year absence and making progress but still experiencing some discomfort. He still wants to play but is realistic about possibility of running out of runway to return this season.”

Ball has battled knee issues over the past year. He’s doing everything he can to remain optimistic. Ball previously addressed his mindset amid the looming injury concerns.

“Day by day, I’m trying to remain positive and keep getting better, even if it’s an inch better every day. Just try not to move backwards,” Ball said.

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Lonzo Ball was the No. 2 overall draft pick by the Los Angeles Lakers prior to the 2017-2018 season. He flashed signs of potential, but later found his footing in New Orleans with the Pelicans. The Bulls then brought him in to be their point guard alongside Zach LaVine and DeMar DeRozan.

Ball averaged just shy of 13 points per game with 5 rebounds and 5 assists per contest to open the 2021-2022 season in Chicago. But injuries began to emerge after just 35 games. Lonzo Ball hasn’t played since.

The Bulls are hopeful that he can get fully healthy and return for the 2023-2024 season at the latest. Although, they would love for him to make a comeback this year.

We will continue to provide updates on Lonzo Ball’s injury situation as they are made available.