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Bulls' Zach LaVine says he's ahead of schedule after foot surgery. Lonzo Ball also makes progress

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Chicago Bulls star Zach LaVine said Saturday that his recovery from season-ending surgery on his right foot is ahead of schedule.

LaVine had surgery on Feb. 8. He said it was to repair a nonunion Jones fracture, meaning part of the base of his fifth metatarsal was floating in his foot. The original timeline for his return was four to six months, which would put the two-time All-Star on track to be ready for training camp.

“I was pretty much trying to figure out every way not to," LaVine told reporters about the decision to have surgery. “You never want to have surgery. But I got to a conclusion, especially with what the doctor was telling me, that the pain level and this thing isn’t going to heal on its own.”

Also, coach Billy Donovan said before the Bulls' game against the Los Angeles Clippers that Lonzo Ball has started sprinting and cutting during on-court drills in controlled, noncontact situations. Ball has not played since January 2022 because of three procedures on his left knee.

“Some of the workouts have been really positive as far as running, cutting, jumping, doing those things. So he’s progressed into that and responded well," Donovan said. "I’m just really happy for him personally for his progress. He has worked hard to put himself in this position. And hopefully, he can continue to progress.”

LaVine and Ball — who both went to college at UCLA — joined their teammates on the bench during Saturday's 112-102 loss to the Clippers. The Bulls had a three-game winning streak snapped but are 25-19 since Dec. 1. They are in ninth place in the Eastern Conference after a slow start to the season.

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