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Billy Donovan Has Unfortunate Update On Lonzo Ball

Chicago Bulls v Miami Heat

MIAMI, FLORIDA - DECEMBER 11: Lonzo Ball #2 and Zach LaVine #8 of the Chicago Bulls react against the Miami Heat during the first half at FTX Arena on December 11, 2021 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

The Chicago Bulls received more discouraging news on Lonzo Ball.

Per K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago, Bulls head coach Billy Donovan said the point guard is still dealing with discomfort in his recovery attempt from arthroscopic knee surgery. Ball hasn't played since January 14.

Chicago had recently halted his rehab process. The team restarted those efforts last week, with Donovan not willing to write off an in-season return.

"We'd have to see some significant progress that he's made physically so that we feel good he can go in there and play and contribute and help," Donovan said last week, per ESPN's Jamal Collier. "But I haven't gotten anything [from team doctors] close to shutting him down or anything like that."

The latest setback, however, makes it unlikely Ball will return for any of Chicago's four remaining regular-season games. Currently tied with the Toronto Raptors for the Eastern Conference's No. 5 seed, the Bulls have a 2.5-game cushion over the Cleveland Cavaliers to avoid the play-in tournament.

Now the question is whether the 24-year-old can return for the playoffs.

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski said there's "less and less optimism" Ball will return this season. The Bulls will meet with Ball and his representatives soon to determine whether to shut him down.

Ball averaged 13.0 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 5.1 assists in 35 games before getting sidelined. The Bulls, who were 27-13 before he went down, have since gone 18-20.