Lonzo Ball’s Return To Bulls Lineup Delayed; Everything To Know

Lonzo Ball, Chicago Bulls, NBA News
NBA Analysis Network

The Chicago Bulls have hit their first real skid of the season. They had lost eight of 10 games before picking up a huge victory over the Toronto Raptors on Monday night, pushing them 2.5 games ahead of the Raptors, who are in seventh place, holding the top spot in the NBA Play-In Tournament in the Eastern Conference.

One of the reasons for the skid has been injuries catching up with the Bulls. Chicago has faced a lot of adversity all season when it came to players being in and out of the lineup and handled it well. But, it seems that things are regressing a bit to the mean.

Chicago is 1-17 against teams currently in the top-four of each conference. They are handling business against the teams they are supposed to beat, but when they go up a step in the competition, they are struggling.

One of the reasons for those struggles is certainly because they are without their starting point guard, Lonzo Ball. He suffered a knee injury in mid-January and hasn’t played in a game since January 14th.

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Originally, there was a six-to-eight-week timetable put on his return. We have surpassed the eight weeks, but Ball still isn’t very close to returning. In fact, his rehab seems to have hit a snag and he will be throttling things down for the time being.

“The feeling was, let’s really pull back on what he’s doing and let’s let him, I don’t want to use the word rest because it’s not like he’s sitting around doing nothing — he’ll do strength training and those kind of things — but take a break on the running and trying to ramp him up,” Donovan said.

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“We’ll have a better feel of that once they get through this next 10 days,” Donovan continued. “Obviously, it’s coming to the end of the season. … I think that they felt like, ‘OK if he can, over this 10-day period, really get back to the ramp-up period, because he has been out for quite some time,’ that would enable him to get back into contact relatively soon.”

With only 11 games remaining in the regular season, the Chicago Bulls are running out of time to ensure Lonzo Ball will have a chance to get some live action before the postseason. The 10-day period that Billy Donvan mentioned would bring them to April 1st.

The Bulls have five games remaining in the regular season from that point on, but Ball would still need to ramp up activity before getting on the court. That could take a few more days, especially since he will be pushing three months sidelined.

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Lonzo Ball must get playing time before the postseason to help get back into rhythm. Throwing him into the lineup without playing in over three months could be a recipe for disaster. However, there is no denying that the Chicago Bulls could use him back in the lineup if they want to make any noise in the postseason.

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