Chicago Bulls point guard Lonzo Ball has been ruled out for six to eight weeks after opting to undergo surgery on a small meniscus tear in his left knee.
The decision to undergo the arthroscopic procedure came after two other treatment plans had failed to improve the condition of the knee, on which Ball had surgery to repair a similar meniscus injury while with the Los Angeles Lakers in 2018.
Head coach Billy Donovan said the first treatment option was a bust because Ball’s knee “didn’t really respond,” leading the team to seek another plan. On Thursday, the plan had been changed to surgery.
Acquired from New Orleans in a sign-and-trade deal, Ball has been a major contributor in Chicago’s rise to the top of the Eastern Conference. Chicago (28-15) was tied with Miami for the East lead through Wednesday, after four straight losing seasons.
Ball and shooting guard Zach LaVine will not travel on the team’s three-game road trip, which begins on Friday at Milwaukee.
Ball, 24, sat out his third consecutive game when the Bulls beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 117-104 on Wednesday night. His role was filled by a combination of rookie Ayo Dosunmu and Coby White. The Bulls also got Alex Caruso back in the lineup this week.
Ball is averaging 13.0 points, 5.4 rebounds, 5.1 assists and 1.8 steals in 35 starts this season, his first with Chicago.
Drafted No. 2 overall by the Lakers in 2017, he has career averages of 11.9 points, 5.7 rebounds and 6.2 assists in 252 games (239 starts) with Los Angeles (2017-19), the New Orleans Pelicans (2019-21) and the Bulls.