(670 The Score) Uncertainty still persists around Bulls guard Lonzo Ball’s ailing left knee, which he had surgery on in late January.
While calling the medical feedback on Ball’s knee “good,” Bulls general manager Marc Eversley on Thursday night also acknowledged he’s unsure if Ball would be cleared to play games if the team was in the middle of its season right now.
“That’s something we probably need to talk to the performance staff about,” Eversley said. “That’s not a call that I can make right now. I can just tell you he’s rehabbing, and he’s making progress.
“He’s currently working out in L.A., still doing his rehab. We have sent out performance staff to see him every week and kind of track his progress. All reports are good. He’s making progress.”
Asked if he expects Ball to be a full participant when the Bulls open training camp in late September, Eversley responded, “I certainly hope so.”
Ball didn't play in a game after Jan. 14, as he underwent surgery in late January to repair a meniscus tear. The Bulls were initially hopeful to get him back late in the regular season, but Ball also suffered a bone bruise in the knee that continued to plague him and give him trouble in his rehab process. After taking steps forward in his rehab in late February coming out of the All-Star break, Ball’s progress stalled by mid-March and the team eventually ruled him out for the season in early April.
Ball played in 35 games this season, averaging 13 points and 5.1 assists while also shooting 42.3% from 3-point range on high volume. Ball was crucial to the Bulls’ identity, as he was a strong defender, the catalyst of their transition game that was so successful early on and then a floor spacer and connector of their offense in the half-court setting.
The Bulls were 22-13 when Ball played and 24-23 when he didn’t in the regular season. Ball also watched from the sideline as the Bulls lost in five games to the Bucks in the first round of the playoffs.
Cody Westerlund is a sports editor for 670TheScore.com and covers the Bulls. Follow him on Twitter @CodyWesterlund.