Lonzo Ball says knee surgery was “last option,” had partial meniscus removal not repair

Kurt Helin
NBC Sports

Lonzo Ball wanted to work on his game this summer — he has undoubtedly tweaked his shot — and no player wants to spend their summer recovering from surgery.

Ball ultimately didn’t have a choice, as he said during a recent episode of “Ball In the Family,” the Facebook reality series about the Ball family. (Hat tip to the Lonzo Wire, who watches Ball in the Family so we don’t have to.)

“I got hurt a couple of times during the season and then after the season I decided to get a shot and try to take care of it that way, That didn’t work, so the last option is surgery,” Ball said.

That shot was a PRP injection Ball got not long after the season ended. Ball described the surgery as a partial removal, speaking to his father, LaVar, on the show.

“They’ve got to take it out,” Lonzo told LaVar. “They said they could repair it but it would take me six months to get back. But, if they just take it out it will only be six weeks.”

That removal was reported to be partial, not total (the total is what Dwyane Wade had and is a contributing factor to his knee issues now). Lonzo, just 20 years old, should be able to fully recover from this and not have significant knee issues due to it during his playing career. (Nothing is certain ever with surgery, and the human body wasn’t meant to run a couple of marathons a year up-and-down a hardwood floor, so there may be future issues.) Someday, like your grandfather, this knee may be able to tell Ball when it’s going to rain (arthritis is a possibility), he should be able to play on it.

Ball has a lot to prove this season. The Lakers with LeBron James are a win-now team and the entire young Lakers core needs to prove they can take a step forward and contribute to that. Ball has skills that can fit with the new reality — his ability to push the pace and get others involved are at the heart of that — but he needs to prove he can play well off the ball, and that he has become more of a scoring threat, both with his jumper and finishing around the rim. While I expect he will be better at this than his critics do (Ball played off the ball at UCLA a lot and was a good cutter who hit his spot up chances at a fair rate) he’s got to prove it now at an NBA level.

If not, Rajon Rondo and Josh Hart are right there in the mix, ready to go.

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