Lonzo Ball provides major update on potential return

Lonzo Ball hasn’t played for the Chicago Bulls since Jan. 14, 2022. He has been trying to work his way back to fitness following a meniscus tear in his left knee. Ball originally joined the Bulls to be the focal point of their offense. His playmaking and elite defense were seen as the ideal complement to DeMar DeRozan and Nikola Vucevic.

Ball has one year left on his current $80 million deal. He will become an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2025. When speaking on a recent episode of the “What An Experience” podcast, Ball gave an update on his current injury status. He noted how he’s expecting to be available for the opening game of Chicago’s 2024-25 season.

“Yes. I firmly believe that,” Ball said. “That’s the plan that I’m on. And I haven’t had any setbacks. I expect to play the first game.”

Ball has played just 35 games since joining the Bulls, averaging 13 points, 5.1 assists and 5.4 rebounds per game. He was shooting 42.3% from the field and 42.3% from 3-point range. However, after missing such a significant amount of playing time, the Bulls must limit their expectations.

Ball will need some time to get back to his best. Two years away from professional-level basketball will certainly have lowered his potential ceiling. His conditioning will also be a work in progress. Nevertheless, the Bulls will undoubtedly be happy to get Ball back onto the floor and potentially challenge for a spot in the playoffs next season, assuming he can avoid any further injuries or setbacks.

Story originally appeared on Lonzo Wire