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Lonzo reveals he had rare meniscus transplant in 2023

Quinn Harris / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Chicago Bulls guard Lonzo Ball revealed that he underwent a rare procedure last year to treat the ongoing meniscus injury in his left knee.

The 26-year-old required a meniscus transplant from a donor, a bone graft, and some new cartilage inserted into his knee in 2023, Ball said on his podcast, "The WAE Show."

"There was no meniscus left, and bone on bone was rubbing. The cartilage was gone, and the bone was messed up, so I had to get a new meniscus from a donor," Ball said.

He added that the problems with his knee began after he tore his meniscus in 2018 while a member of the Los Angeles Lakers. Ball hasn't played an NBA game since Jan. 14, 2022.

The surgeries for the meniscus implant and bone graft were performed in March 2023. Ball was subsequently ruled out of the 2023-24 season in June 2023 as he continued to recover from his third knee surgery in 12 months.

Ball said he believes he'll be ready for the opening game of next season, barring any major setbacks, according to Jamal Collier of ESPN. Ball has yet to return to five-on-five scrimmages.

"Still got a long summer ahead of me, but definitely looking forward to the future," Ball said.

Ball exercised his $21.4-million player option for the 2024-25 season earlier this month. The former UCLA Bruin is entering the final season of a four-year, $80-million contract and has only played in 35 games with Chicago.

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