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Chicago’s Lonzo Ball reveals he received a meniscus transplant from a donor

We’ve all heard the story of Lonzo Ball’s two-year recovery, as he last played an NBA game in January 2022, due to recurring knee injuries. Now that he finally appears to be healthy and ready for the upcoming season, more details have been emerging about this long process.

Last Friday, the athlete spoke on his podcast The WAE Show and revealed that part of his recovery meant he had to have donor meniscus surgery. According to the Bulls star, his knee problems date back to 2018, which was the first time he tore his meniscus as a Lakers player.

After these repeated injuries, the guard admitted that he had finally lost cartilage, and needed a meniscus transplant procedure. “The meniscus was gone, and bone on bone was rubbing,” Lonzo said.

“The cartilage was gone and the bone was disturbed, so I had to get a new meniscus from a donor,” added the player. “I had to get a bone allograft, and I had to put in new cartilage.”

The point guard has spent more than a year seeing different specialists trying to find the best solution to his knee problems, as he underwent a cartilage transplant in March 2023, his third medical procedure of the calendar year. The Bulls have announced that they believe his final intervention will get him back on the NBA court.

Ball and the Bulls said at the time that they believe that this surgery will give him a better chance to return to the field and that led to him being out this past season. “We were trying to figure out what the problem was, so that was a wasted year,” Ball said on his podcast.

Although the Chicago star missed the entire 2023/24 campaign, he was able to rehabilitate without the discomfort he had in the past while doing light training. A few weeks ago, a video of him training emerged as he told the media that he felt 70% ready to return.

Despite feeling healthy, Lonzo revealed that he will work out all summer to be ready for the 2024/24 campaign.

Earlier this month, Ball announced that he was finally training pain-free, but would still have to commit to building up throughout the postseason. His hopes are to start playing on the first day of the 2024/25 season.

“It’s good to play, but I feel like it could be better,” said the Bulls star, who exercised his player option earlier this month in the final season of his four-year, $80 million contract. “I still have a long summer ahead of me, but I’m looking forward to tomorrow.”

Lonzo, who has only played 35 games for the Chicago franchise, should be 100% by October. “I strongly believe that,” Ball insisted. “This is the plan I’m on, I didn’t have any problems. I’m waiting to play the first game.”

The Illinois club also expects him to be ready. “We’ll wait and see his progress over the next few months,” said Arturas Karnisovas, the Bulls’ senior vice president of basketball operations. “He is progressing well. Everything is looking [good] without any hiccups, so we’ll see where he is in a few months.”

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