Chicago Bulls guard Zach LaVine suffered a left knee injury just three minutes into Friday’s 138-96 loss to the Golden State Warriors, and did not return. With the Warriors set to inbound the ball with 8:28 left in the first quarter, LaVine intentionally fouled Stephen Curry and walked directly to the Bulls’ locker room.
“I think he came down for an offensive rebound and felt some discomfort and tried to play on it a little bit, but didn’t feel quite right,” Bulls head coach Billy Donovan said after the game. “I don’t know how severe it is or isn’t. “I think the MRI [on Saturday] will tell a lot. Before I speculate or guess, I just don’t know until he gets the MRI.”
Donovan said that LaVine won’t travel with the team for Saturday night’s matchup against the Boston Celtics, as he will stay behind for the MRI on his knee. It’s worth noting that LaVine tore the ACL in the same knee in 2017 as a member of the Minnesota Timberwolves.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that there’s some confidence that the injury isn’t serious, though Donovan didn’t want to speculate on the severity before receiving the imaging results.
Hopefully the injury does not keep LaVine out for long, as he is an integral part of the Bulls’ ascent this season. Entering Friday’s game, they were the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference with a 27-12 record, after failing to make the playoffs in each of the past four seasons. After being named to his first All-Star team last season, LaVine has averaged 25.6 points and 4.3 assists this year on incredibly efficient 49/41/87 shooting splits.
We will await word on the results of Saturday’s MRI.