Before the Chicago Bulls took the Minnesota Timberwolves on Sunday, head coach Billy Donovan provided an optimistic update about Lonzo Ball’s continuing healing progress.
Donovan told reporters that Ball detailed to him that he is “progressing towards (running),” but it remains undetermined the timeframe he’ll be available fully run pain-free.
“We haven’t had anything that’s been like, ‘Oh, geez, we’re back at square one.’ It’s just slow unfortunately,” Donovan said, per NBC Sports’ K.C. Johnson. “It’s just managing the pain and discomfort he’s feeling.”
Still, added by Donovan, there is a “significant ramp-up period for (Ball) to get his conditioning, timing back” as he continues his process to return to the ball club.
Donovan still commended Ball’s efforts to be engaged with the team and keep that playing dedication alive amid the hardship of his rehabilitation.
“For me personally, just being around him last summer and then being around him in training camp, the one thing that really comes out when you’re around him and speak to him is he’s a student of the game. He loves the game. He’s very bright, very intelligent. And you enjoy talking basketball with him,” Donovan said of Ball.
“He loves to play. There are some guys where maybe this is a job. He just loves to play. And when you see a guy eager to get back and it’s taken away from him, you feel for him.”
Ball has been out of the Bulls since mid-January due to a nagging knee issue. With revamping didn’t go well, he took his second knee surgery last September.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski noted that there are no guarantees that he’ll play this season for the Bulls. As such, the Chicago faithful is still keeping that hope intact as they try to be back in contention.