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Will Lonzo Ball, Alex Caruso, Patrick Williams return this season for Bulls?

Chicago has three key rotation players on the mend this season.

Lonzo Ball #2 and Alex Caruso #6 of the Chicago Bulls looks on during a preseason game against the New Orleans Pelicans on October 8, 2021 at United Center in Chicago, Illinois. Photo by Jeff Haynes/NBAE via Getty Images

The Chicago Bulls, who have been one of the surprise stories in the NBA this season, are currently ranked second in the Eastern Conference and looking to make some noise in the playoffs.

However, they are hoping to have Lonzo Ball, Alex Caruso, and Patrick Williams back on the floor sometime during the second half of the season. Ball has not played since late January due to left knee injury, along with Caruso who has also been out with a fractured wrist. As for Williams, he reportedly suffered a season-ending left wrist injury back in October. But there’s a chance the second-year forward could return to the floor soon.

Lonzo Ball/Alex Caruso/Patrick Williams injury updates

April 5 update: Ball will be out for the rest of the regular season and even though the Bulls haven’t ruled out a postseason return, it seems like the guard will likely miss the entire season. According to reports, the Bulls are in conversation with Ball’s camp about shutting the guard down. There hasn’t been anything official, but Ball likely won’t return for the Bulls.

March 17 update: Patrick Williams is targeting a return to the floor next week for the Bulls, per Shams Charania. Williams was assigned to the Windy City Bulls, so he’s clearly close to coming back. The forward will be a valuable rotation player for the Bulls once he comes back, especially on the defensive end of the floor.

March 14 update: Head coach Billy Donovan provided some insight into Williams’ recovery, and said the small forward should be back by the end of March. He’ll likely be eased into the rotation but the Bulls are closer to being whole.

March 12 update: Caruso is good to go and will return to the floor Saturday against the Cavaliers. We’ll see if he’s on a minutes limit but this is excellent news for the Bulls ahead of the last stretch of the regular season.

March 11 update: Although Caruso is unlikely to play Saturday, March 12, he’s officially listed as questionable. That is great news for the Bulls, who are hoping to have all their key players intact by the time the postseason rolls around. Williams should be a few days away from joining Caruso on the day-to-day report, while Ball is still behind both of these players per the last update.

March 9 update: According to K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago, Caruso and Williams have been cleared for contact with the former likely to return to practice Friday. Ball is a bit behind both in terms of conditioning, but will start working his way back soon from his knee surgery.

Ball suffered a meniscus tear in his left knee in late January that has sidelined him for the last 6-8 weeks. The last time we saw him on the court was on Jan. 14 against the Golden State Warriors, where he had 15 points, three assists, and two rebounds. Ball is reportedly ramping up his running, which is a good sign for him to return sometime next month. With the way that Coby White and Ayo Dosunmu is playing, Ball would make their backcourt that much more lethal.

Caruso picked up a fractured wrist on Jan. 21 against the Milwaukee Bucks, which has had him on the injury for also 6-8 weeks. The Bulls have missed both Ball and Caruso on defense as they’ve struggled on the perimeter over the last few weeks. The 27-year-old guard might be cleared to continue dribbling and shooting drills after the All-Star break, per ESPN’s Jamal Collier.

Finally, Williams has been out since the season basically started with a left wrist dislocation. At the time of the injury, it appeared that the second-year forward would be out for the rest of the season. However, head coach Billy Donovan has said over the last couple of weeks that Williams could be back before the regular season ends. Donovan spoke to reporters on Wednesday and said that he’s not ready to take contact yet, per Mike McGraw.

When it comes to a betting perceptive, the Bulls should still be a favorite to win the East and has a strong shot to win the central division. As for fantasy hoops, we could see Dosunmu and White’s production take a dip once Ball and Caruso comes back. But until then, those two young guards need to be in your lineup on a nightly basis.