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Injured Bulls PG Lonzo Ball ruled out for season

Chicago Bulls guard Lonzo Ball hasn't played since last season. Photo by CJ Gunther/EPA-EFE
Chicago Bulls guard Lonzo Ball hasn't played since last season. Photo by CJ Gunther/EPA-EFE

Feb. 21 (UPI) -- Chicago Bulls guard Lonzo Ball, who hasn't played since last season due to a knee injury, is out for the remainder of the 2022-23 campaign, the team announced Tuesday.

"Despite making significant increases in strength and function over the past several months, Bulls guard Lonzo Ball continues to experience performance limiting discomfort during participation in high level basketball-related activities," Bulls executive vie president of basketball operations Arturas Karnisovas said in a news release.

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"Considering the required time period to achieve the necessary level of fitness to return-to-play and the current stage of the NBA season, Ball will not return this season. The focus for Ball will continue to be on the resolution of his discomfort and a full return for the 2023-24 season."

Ball, 25, averaged 13 points, 5.4 rebounds, 5.1 assists and 1.8 steals per game in 35 starts last season. He last played Jan. 14, 2022. He was first diagnosed with a bone bruise and meniscus injury. He underwent two surgeries since then.

In September, the Bulls said he was scheduled to be reevaluated in 4 to 6 weeks after his most-recent surgery.

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Ball, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, is under contract through 2023-24. His contract also includes a $21.3 million player option for 2024-25.

The Bulls (26-33) will host the Brooklyn Nets (34-24) at 8 p.m. EST Friday in Chicago. They sit in 11th place in the Eastern Conference.

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