Bulls’ Lonzo Ball vows he will ‘definitely’ play basketball again despite series of surgeries: ‘I’m only 25’

Lonzo Ball participated in the Chicago Bulls‘ media day this week and confirmed he will be sidelined for the entirety of the upcoming NBA season. Ball continues to recover from a procedure he underwent on his left knee.

The star point guard’s NBA tenure has been riddled with injuries, but he does not believe his basketball career is over.

“I definitely plan on playing again,” Ball said. “I’m only 25, I feel like the rehab process has been going well so far. No setbacks. So for me, it’s just keeping my head up, just keep doing the work.”

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Chicago Bulls point guard Lonzo Ball on bench

Lonzo Ball of the Chicago Bulls watches from the bench as his teammates take on the Milwaukee Bucks in the game at United Center in Chicago on April 5, 2022. (Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Ball has had multiple surgeries on his knee. He also sat out of the entire 2022-23 season. He has not appeared in an NBA game since January 2022.

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Given the recent string of setbacks, Ball reported that he’s “about halfway” through the rehab process.

“I’m feeling pretty good,” Ball noted Monday. “Probably about halfway through the rehab process. Still have a long way ahead of me. But each week I’ve been progressing. I’m just trying to stay positive and take it day by day.

Lonzo Ball drives by Kyrie Irving

Lonzo Ball of the Chicago Bulls is defended by Kyrie Irving of the Brooklyn Nets during the game at United Center in Chicago on Jan. 12, 2022. (Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

“Rehab’s been long. Feels like every day is almost the same. I’m getting better each week, and that’s all I can ask for.”

Ball was in the midst of a strong season before he began experiencing issues with his knee last year. He was averaging 13 points and 5.1 assists per game during his 35 appearances with the Bulls.

Chicago finished the 2021-22 regular season with 46 wins and qualified for the playoffs, but lost in the first round to the Milwaukee Bucks.

Lonzo Ball looks on during a Chicago Bulls game

Lonzo Ball of the Chicago Bulls looks on during the game against the Oklahoma City Thunder at United Center in Chicago on Jan. 13, 2023. (Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

Ball, the No. 2 overall draft pick by the Los Angeles Lakers in 2017, improved his overall game by the time he joined the Bulls. His three-point shooting and free throw percentage had noticeably improved before Ball’s knee became problematic.

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Nevertheless, Ball seems to be remaining positive and committed to playing as soon as his health permits. 

“I’ve been playing basketball organized since I’ve been 6,” Ball told NBC Sports Chicago. “I’m 25 now. Just not being out there the last two years, it just feels like part of my life is gone. I can only do so much on the side. It’s kind of hard for me to watch the games from there just because I know that I can help if I’m out there. But the fact that I can’t play, it is what it is.”

“Definitely planning on coming back next year strong, healthy and ready to go,” he asserted.

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