Lonzo Ball out 'indefinitely' as third knee surgery looms, doubts remain over Bulls return
Lonzo Ball will be out "indefinitely" as he prepares to undergo a third surgery on his left knee in 14 months, with the Chicago Bulls reportedly concerned about his chances of resuming his career.
Ball has not played since January 2022, having suffered a knee injury that has already required two operations.
The guard – who is almost two seasons into a four-year, $80million deal in Chicago – was ruled out for the remainder of the 2022-23 campaign last month, stunting hopes of a return this term.
On Thursday, a report from ESPN suggested his upcoming cartilage transplant could rule him out for the entirety of next season, while his team simply said he would be sidelined "indefinitely".
The report added there is growing pressure for Ball's next surgery to offer him a clear pathway towards an eventual return to the court, which may not be assured.
Speaking to the Bulls' website, Ball said: "My main focus has been on returning to the court and getting to a place where I can re-join my team-mates.
"This has been a frustrating process, but I'm confident these next steps are the best path forward.
"The support of my family, friends, fans and medical staff throughout my recovery is what keeps me moving forward. I can't wait to get back to what I love doing most – playing basketball."
Ball averaged 13 points, 5.4 rebounds and 5.1 assists across 35 games in his first season with the Bulls, who have struggled to a 31-37 record in his absence this campaign, leaving them 12th in the Eastern Conference.