Lonzo Ball seemed to give Chicago Bulls fans some hope this week when he posted a video of himself throwing down a dunk. But Bulls fans should hit the brakes and not get too optimistic that Ball will be returning to the court anytime soon. According to Bulls head coach Billy Donovan via K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago, Ball will need quite a bit of time be able to play again once he begins full-speed, on court activity which he has not yet been cleared to do.
Tomorrow marks 1 year since Lonzo Ball played in an NBA game. Billy Donovan emphasized that Ball would need a long runway to return to play once he has been cleared for cutting and full-speed daily on-court running, which he hasn’t yet.
— K.C. Johnson (@KCJHoop) January 13, 2023
“I don’t know where that’s going to be when that time comes. But I think the medical guys will be very, very careful in terms of making sure he’s got a pretty long runway to be able to prove and show he’s able to have enough strength and endurance and his timing is back,” Donovan said. “Listen, when you’re out a year, whenever he gets back to playing, I don’t think missing that much time anyone is going to expect him to pick up right where he left off. There’s going to be an adjustment period, there’s no question. How long that is? I don’t know.”
The Bulls first acquired Lonzo Ball in the 2021 off-season in a sign and trade with the New Orleans Pelicans. He was looked at as being the starting point guard for the Bulls for years to come but he hasn’t been able to remain healthy. He only played in 35 games during his first season with the Bulls. But despite that, he still managed to average 13.0 points per game, 5.4 rebounds and 5.1 assists while showing an improved shot from three-point range at 42.3 percent.