As the Bulls head into the final third of the season they will be doing so without three of their essential cogs in Lonzo Ball, Alex Caruso, and Patrick Williams.Despite this, DeMar DeRozan and Zach Lavine have carried Chicago to the No. 2 seed in the east, but the All-Star duo will soon hopefully be getting fully-healed reinforcements back from the injured list in the next month, our ProBasketballDocs say. The most important and most complicated case is that of Zach Lavine, who played a team-low 11 minutes for Team Durant in the All-Star game tonight. Lavine has missed the last 3 games, and 8 total, with lingering left knee swelling that likely signals early arthritis, according to our team of ProBasketballDocs. Bill Donovan said late last week that doctors drained fluid from, and applied a lubricant to, the damaged knee. The lubricant is likely a form of viscosupplementation, which is often used to treat soreness and swelling related to arthritis. By no means is Lavine arthritic compared to someone the age of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar or Bill Russell, but the damage to his knees has developed osteoarthritis, or wear-and-tear. Lavine tore his left ACL in 2017 and has missed time with left knee soreness sparingly since. It is a good sign he played today, but his limited usage is a signal of things to come for the 8-year veteran. Lavine will have to be load managed, if not for the rest of the season, for the rest of his career. Patrick Williams who was the first key Bull to suffer a significant injury, tearing multiple ligaments in his left wrist on Oct. 28. The injury and subsequent surgery had the 2nd-year wing slated to miss 4-to-6 months and he has been progressing well in his rehab, most recently getting his cast removed early last month. Normally, after the cast is removed, a player needs about 2 more months to make a full recovery, which is right around March 10. Williams is on track to return sometime before the end of the regular season, likely closer to the 5 month mark at the end of March. Recent reports from Chicago say that Billy Donovan and co. are preparing Williams to be well-conditioned upon his return, as they will likely rely on his versatility and defense in their playoff push. So he will likely be back on the court once he is in game shape. Alex Caruso also suffered a debilitating wrist injury, breaking his right scaphoid bone on January 21 after a flagrant foul from Grayson Allen that dropped him out of the sky directly onto his wrist. Carouso is expected to be cleared for dribbling and shooting exercises in the next week, according to reports, which is in line with the recovery timeline of 6-to-8 weeks. Much like Williams, Caruso will be able to return with little-to-no ill effects, despite the injury coming to his shooting hand. Caruso was able to stay in and finish the game after the fracture, which did not present itself until later tests.March 4 marks 6 weeks since the injury, and Caruso will likely also return soon after that date, once his conditioning is game-ready.Lonzo Ball underwent surgery to repair a torn meniscus on Jan. 28 after a week-long debacle to find the source of lingering knee soreness. He was seen a little over a week later without his cast, and is projected to return sometime in early March by the Bulls, who gave him a 4-to-6 week timeline, according to Adrian Wojnarowski. The ProBasketballDocs expect him to be closer to or beyond the 6-week mark, putting him back in late March, right before the end of the regular season.