Kaplan: Bulls have ‘serious concerns’ over Lonzo Ball’s knee

By on May 16, 2022 0

Longtime Chicago media personality David Kaplan caused a stir Monday morning when he said on his ESPN-AM 1000 radio show that the Chicago Bulls’ front office had “serious concerns” about the lack of progress on Lonzo Ball’s left knee injury.

Kaplan, who also hosts “Unfiltered with David Kaplan” and “Football Aftershow” after Bears games on NBC Sports Chicago, added that Ball’s lack of progress “will influence how they approach their offseason.”

“They” means Bulls management, who addressed the situation on April 29, a day after Ball also spoke of his frustration with the lingering injury.

“It’s always a concern, isn’t it? executive vice president Artūras Karnišovas said that day, two days after the Milwaukee Bucks ended a Bulls season in which Ball played just 35 games. “I will be positive because we missed him a lot this year. We missed his size, we missed him pushing the station wagon. We were a bit slower in the second half of the season. We missed his eight out of three attempts per game at 42%. So we miss him, but we also have to pay attention to what’s going on there and we’ll try to figure it out this summer. ”

Ball underwent surgery to repair a torn meniscus on January 28. At that time, the Bulls estimated his return timeframe at six to eight weeks.

Instead, Ball never played again. A bone bruise from before his arthroscopic knee surgery lingered and flared up every time Ball tried to increase his workload to return to play.

“It’s very frustrating,” Ball said on April 28. I’m going to work with the doctors and the strength trainers and do what I have to do to get my health back.

Ball was due to visit his own specialist after the season. A source told NBC Sports Chicago’s KC Johnson that the initial offseason plan focused on rest and treatments to resolve the bone bruise before a more detailed training plan could be put in place.

Ball said he hoped his visit to the specialist wouldn’t require another surgery before adding “but if that’s what it takes, then I have pretty much no choice at this point.” On Monday, NBC Sports Chicago could not confirm that such a need had been established.

“It’s difficult because there’s no answer to why he’s having knee discomfort and obviously with him going to LA for surgery, the next step for him now is to go back to LA and meet with his doctors and meet with his team and try to figure out what the problem is, what’s causing it, how to fix it,” coach Billy Donovan said in late April. which is probably frustrating for him is that after having the surgery and doing everything he could do to get back on the floor and not being able to get back on the floor he’s probably in a situation now of what’s going on.”

The Bulls acquired Ball in a sign-and-trade deal with the Pelicans and agreed to a four-year, $80 million deal. In his first season with the Bulls, he had a major impact on both sides.

But his failure to stay healthy throughout his five-year career is becoming a scenario the Bulls hope can put in the past by next season.

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