Los Angeles Lakers guard Lonzo Ball underwent successful arthroscopic knee surgery on Tuesday, the team announced. The Lakers did not give a specific timetable for Ball’s return to the court, but said he is “expected to make a full recovery by the start of the 2018-19 training camp.”
The surgery was on the same knee that Ball suffered a torn meniscus in towards the end of the season, and the balky joint was in large responsible for costing Ball 30 games of a rookie season in which he averaged 10.2 points, 6.9 rebounds and a team-high 7.2 assists, but shot just 36 percent from the field as he adjusted to NBA length amidst multiple injuries.
Lakers blog Godfather Darius Soriano of Forum Blue and Gold did an excellent job of detailing the strange timeline of Ball’s injury status in a recent post, but suffice it to say this has been a weird, nagging issue for the Lakers’ hoped-for point guard of the future. If Ball’s knee issues persist following this surgery, it’s fair to wonder how long he’ll be dealing with them for, but for now it’s still acceptable to hope this surgery will fix the issue.
Because Ball’s effectiveness is not predicated on extraordinary athleticism, he’ll likely be fine, but as written before, the timeline for this recovery — even if it has Ball ready for training camp — could presumably sap his effectiveness as he enters into a battle for the Lakers’ starting point guard job with free agency addition Rajon Rondo.
For now, though, that battle is a long way off, and on the whole this is good news for Ball, the organization and Lakers fans alike. It appears Ball will be just fine after a little time to heal and some rehab, and even if this procedure still slows Ball a bit to start the regular season, if it fixes his knee issues permanently it will have been well worth it.
All stats per NBA.com and Basketball-Reference.com. You can follow Harrison on Twitter at @hmfaigen.