Chicago Bulls guard Lonzo Ball has been placed in the NBA's health and safety protocols, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.
The Bulls bet big on Ball as a missing piece in their quest to make the playoffs for the first time since the 2016-17 season. He was acquired as part of a sign-and-trade deal with the New Orleans Pelicans after agreeing to a four-year, $85 million deal as a restricted free agent.
Things have worked out well for both sides thus far. Chicago leads the Central Division with a 19-10 record. Ball is averaging 13.2 points, 5.4 rebounds and 5.0 assists per game. He's also shooting a career-high 41.9 percent from three-point range.
Ball has dealt with his share of injuries throughout his NBA career. The 24-year-old missed 11 of 14 games last season from March 21 to April 14 because of a hip injury.
It was the third time in four seasons that Ball has missed at least 14 games. The UCLA alum was very good for the Pelicans in 2020-21 when he was healthy. He set career highs in scoring average (14.6 points per game) and field-goal percentage (41.4).
Injury concerns remain a significant problem for Ball at this still-early stage of his career.
Bulls head coach Billy Donovan will rely on Alex Caruso as his primary point guard for the time being until Ball can return.