Ball’s final game was Jan. 14, and he had surgery two weeks later.
The Bulls hoped a recent 10-day shutdown in activities after he experienced discomfort would resolve the issue and allow him to return this season. But he felt pain again when he tried to ramp them up.
“I think the biggest thing everybody is trying to do right now is how do we actually get him, from a health standpoint, feeling better, where he can actually start to ramp up and do some things,” Bulls coach Billy Donovan said Wednesday.
The Bulls acquired Ball from New Orleans in a sign-and-trade deal after agreeing to a four-year, $85 million contract. He played a major role in Chicago’s resurgence when he was healthy.
Ball averaged 13 points, 5.4 rebounds, 5.1 assists and 1.8 steals in 35 games. Besides giving the Bulls a steadying hand on offense, he helped tighten their perimeter defense.
Chicago, which led the Eastern Conference for part of the season, was in sixth place with a 45-34 record entering Wednesday’s game against the Boston Celtics. The Bulls ended a string of four straight losing seasons and made the playoffs for the first time since 2017.