Lonzo Ball can't run or jump on injured knee, has pain going up stairs: 'Even the doctors are a bit surprised'

Lonzo Ball was a revelation with the Chicago Bulls last season. He played a pivotal role in the team getting out to a hot start, proving to be a strong defensive player and an adept passer. Then, he injured his knee.

Ball missed the final two months of the 2021-22 NBA season. The Bulls stumbled down the stretch, going 19-23 after Ball had his first surgery.

There was hope Ball would be fully recovered and ready to lead the Bulls by the start of the 2022-23 NBA season, but his knee remains a major issue. Ball, who will have a second surgery on his knee Wednesday, said he's unable to run or jump on his knee currently and still has pain walking up stairs. He said doctors are "a bit surprised" that he's still struggling this much due to the injury.

Ball explained that his knee did experience improvement, but never progressed to the point where he could do the things necessary to get back on a basketball court, per NBCSports Chicago.

"Literally, I really can't run. I can't run or jump. There's a range from, like, 30 to 60 degrees when my knee is bent that I have, like, no force and I can't, like, catch myself. Until I can do those things, I can't play," Ball said. "I did rehab, it was getting better, but it was not to a point where I could get out there and run full speed or jump. So surgery is the next step."

Ball added that he just wants to get back out there with his teammates. While Wednesday marks the second surgery on Ball's knee in the last calendar year, it's the third surgery he's had on that knee since joining the NBA.

That's not what Bulls fans want to hear as the season quickly approaches.

The team announced last Wednesday that Ball would undergo another surgery on his knee. He will have that procedure Sept. 28, and will be evaluated in 4-6 weeks. That will keep Ball out for the start of the 2022-23 NBA season.

Ball has already undergone one surgery on his knee. He had a meniscus tear cleaned up last January. Ball was expected to return to the team after a few months, but had to be shut down for the season due to a slow recovery. Those issues persisted during the offseason, leading to the second surgery.

Given the severity of the issues Ball is experiencing now, surgery sounds like a necessity. If he can bounce back from this procedure within the expected timeline, Ball could still play a major role for the Bulls during the 2022-23 NBA season.