Lonzo Ball (knee) will restart his ramp-up process, Billy Donovan says.— Cody Westerlund (@CodyWesterlund) March 31, 2022
The Bulls shut down Ball and his rehab process over the last 10 days after the UCLA product’s knee didn’t respond to his recovery program from a January knee surgery. Donovan said that although Ball is set to resume activity, his ramp-up will be gradual.
“With the amount of time that he had off to let things calm down, we’re not going to go 0-to-60,” Bulls coach Billy Donovan said per ESPN.
Ball hasn’t played since Jan. 14 and only has 10 days and five games to return before the playoffs begin. A return to the lineup during the playoffs instead of the regular season hasn’t been ruled out, nor have the Bulls decided on ruling Ball out for the season. They haven’t told Ball that there isn’t enough time for him to complete his ramp-up. Above all, Ball’s health will determine his status, and the Bulls are still optimistic he will be ready to return.
“[Ball’s] the driver behind a lot of this; he really wants to play,” Donovan said. “He wants to get back to playing. Obviously, he’s also going to be smart in terms of how he’s feeling. He’s going to be realistic, and the doctors are going to put their heads together. Certainly, every day that goes by and time that passes by, we’re moving closer and closer ’til the end of the season.”
In 35 appearances, Ball averaged 13.0 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 5.1 assists while shooting 42.3 percent from distance on 7.4 attempts per game. Since Ball’s injury, the Bulls are 18th in offensive efficiency and 24th in defensive efficiency, per NBA.com.
“We’d have to see some significant progress that he’s made physically so that we feel good he can go in there and play and contribute and help,” Donovan said. “But I haven’t gotten anything [from team doctors] close to shutting him down or anything like that.”