Bulls G Lonzo Ball received meniscus transplant in ‘23

Chicago Bulls guard Lonzo Ball revealed on his podcast Friday that he received a meniscus transplant from a donor last year while trying to work back from ongoing left knee troubles.

Ball, who tore his meniscus in 2018 and continued to experience issues in the same knee, eventually had no cartilage remaining.

“There was no more meniscus left and bone on bone was rubbing,” Ball said Friday on “The WAE Show.”

“The cartilage was gone and the bone was messed up so I had to get a new meniscus from a donor. I had to get a bone allograft and I had to get some new cartilage put in as well.”

The meniscus replacement was done at the same time that he underwent cartilage transplant surgery in March 2023. He sat out the 2023-24 season while recovering, but both Ball and the Bulls believe it is the best path forward to make it possible for the UCLA product to play again.

Ball said trying to diagnose the specific problem with his knee “was a wasted year.”

Now 26, Ball has not played since Jan. 14, 2022. He played 35 games in his first season with Chicago before he had to be shut down due to injury.

Ball has averaged 11.9 points, 6.2 assists and 5.7 rebounds per game in 252 career games (239 starts) for the Los Angeles Lakers (2017-19), New Orleans Pelicans (2019-21) and Bulls since being selected second overall in the 2017 draft.

Though he has “a long summer ahead” as his recovery continues, Ball was adamant that he’d be ready for the start of the 2024-25 season this fall.

“I firmly believe that,” Ball said. “That’s the plan that I’m on and I haven’t had any setbacks. I expect to play the first game.”

–Field Level Media