NBA rumors: Zach LaVine leaves game with knee injury

KC Johnson: Zach LaVine suffered a left knee injury and won’t return, per Bulls PR. LaVine took an intentional foul and exited at the 8:28 mark of 1st quarter. Replay seemed to indicate LaVine tweaked it as he grabbed an offensive rebound and before committing a turnover.

More on Zach LaVine Injury

Adrian Wojnarowski: Chicago Bulls guard Zach LaVine will get an MRI on his left knee Saturday, but there's initial confidence that he hasn't suffered a serious injury, sources tell ESPN. It was described as "discomfort" and erring on side of caution with MRI tomorrow.
KC Johnson: Zach LaVine is planning to play vs. Knicks, per Donovan. The situation remains fluid moving forward. All will be determined by his ability to tolerate pain and figure out best protection for thumb.
Rob Schaefer: LaVine on potentially missing game(s): "I don't want to put myself in any danger. I don't have all the information on it yet. We'll see how I feel tomorrow and going from there. You know me, I try to play through everything. If I'm able to, I will. If not we'll see how it goes."
Mike McGraw: Zach LaVine had his left thumb taped up today, said he participated in parts of practice. Said the injury happened in the Toronto game, too soon to tell how it will affect him as he tries to play through it. #Bulls
Joe Cowley: It's not believed to be serious, but if it does worsen and LaVine has to have surgery, other NBA players that have gone through it have been sidelined in that 6-8 week period. We're not there yet.
Shams Charania: Bulls All-Star Zach LaVine has a small ligament tear in the thumb of his non-shooting hand but intends to play through the injury, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium. It’s a matter of pain tolerance and LaVine wants to play as Chicago starts the season 4-0.
Rob Schaefer: Looks like Zach LaVine turned his left ankle contesting a 3-pointer. Checked out of game and walked off to locker room under own power with slight hitch in step.
Cody Westerlund: #Bulls' Zach LaVine on if he'll consider sitting out a game to rest ailing ankle: “I don’t think that way. I think if I’m able to go out there and play and contribute in any way, if I’m at 50, 60, 70% or whatever, I still think I’m very effective and I can go out there and help."
Cody Westerlund: LaVine quote continued: "If I feel like I’m a detriment to the team and I’m hurting, I’ll sit out. But I can play through pain. That’s one thing, as long as they clear me and they say I’m OK to play, I’m going to go out there and try to do what I do.”
Eric Woodyard: Zach LaVine says he anticipates returning within the next week. “I don’t want to rush it,” he says.
Eric Woodyard: Zach LaVine is doubtful with a left quad strain. Wendell Carter Jr. will also play and start vs. Dallas.
KC Johnson: LaVine is now listed on Bulls' injury report with that right shoulder strain and also mid-back contusion suffered last game. But he's probable vs. Hawks. Also probable: White (hamstring); Valentine (left ankle); Gafford (sprained finger); Carter (multiple things); Arch (elbow).
KC Johnson: LaVine didn’t travel. Boylen admits they’ve discussed internally shutting everyone down. But not officially there yet. (My emphasis on officially.)
KC Johnson: LaVine is out vs. Raptors.
KC Johnson: Dunn, Porter out vs. Raptors. LaVine doubtful.
KC Johnson: Jim Boylen said Zach LaVine will warm up and see how he feels. Dunn is probable.
KC Johnson: Bulls exec VP John Paxson said Chandler Hutchison is out for season. Otto Porter Jr. and Zach LaVine are monitored day-to-day. Porter out vs. Jazz.
KC Johnson: Boylen on LaVine return: "I’m not eyeing a return date but I’m optimistic. He was bright eyed today. His eyes looked better, like he had more confidence in things getting better. Our training and medical staff is optimistic. He wants to play. He was in a nice groove, nice rhythm"
Malika Andrews: Zach LaVine (right patellar tendon strain) is out tonight against the Lakers, Jim Boylen said. He continues to be day-to-day.
KC Johnson: Zach LaVine and his lingering sore ankles isn’t listed on Bulls injury report. Nikola Mirotic is listed as out for Bucks even though he expressed optimism he’d play. If that holds, he still won’t have played as visitor at United Center.
Malika Andrews: After missing five games with a sprained ankle, Zach LaVine checks in for the Bulls. Before the game, Jim Boylen said that LaVine did feel some extra incentive to play in tonight’s game because it’s against his former team.
KC Johnson: Zach LaVine has been upgraded to questionable (50-50) for Bulls-Timberwolves game, which is one day shy of the front end of 2- to 4-week window Bulls gave after LaVine sprained right ankle.
His hope is that his hope is his sprained left ankle will be in game shape come Dec. 26, when the Timberwolves stroll into the United Center. His coach made it sound like a real possibility. “I do,’’ Boylen said, when asked if he felt LaVine was close to a return. “I hate to make like a definitive timeline, but he seems to be improving every day, he’s positive, and I think it’s something our people feel can heal, and it’s healing.’’
Chicago Bulls guard Zach LaVine will miss 2-4 weeks with a sprained deltoid ligament in his left ankle, Jim Boylen told reporters on Wednesday. "We've gotten all the information we need to," Boylen said. "We feel safe saying that's kind of where it's at."
KC Johnson: Boylen on LaVine: "He’s seeing our guys right now. And he’s going to see some specialists because we want to get as much information as we can. And then we’ll get a diagnosis and start building a rehab schedule." Translated: LaVine is almost certain to miss time beyond next 2.
His legs were stronger from endless weight training he had done as part of his rehabilitation, but his body wasn’t right. He had put on weight, shooting past 210 and suddenly lugging nearly 15 more pounds than he was accustomed to carrying. And he didn’t trust any of it. Publicly, Zach LaVine maintained that his surgically repaired left knee was fine, and structurally it was. But deep down, he knew he something was off. He wouldn’t talk about it, rejecting rust or a lack of rhythm as factors to a so-so return to action. That was window dressing, a prideful athlete willing his mind to believe something his body wasn’t quite ready to do.
For Zach LaVine, it’s been a long, hard road to recovery. But nearly 21 months after suffering a career-altering injury, LaVine and those who know him best can finally say he’s back. Their hope, which is rooted in tireless and meticulous work, is that he’s also better than ever. “He just felt he was a shadow of himself last year, and the Bulls fans didn’t really get to see the true Zach LaVine coming off that injury,” said Tony Willis, a longtime family friend and trainer to LaVine. “So he’s super motivated to get back to where he was and to surpass that.”
Nick Friedell: Hoiberg stressed that he is excited for LaVine to be able to start the season healthy with the Bulls. Last season as he recovered from ACL injury, LaVine spent much of his time getting reps with Windy City Bulls before returning to the floor.
Nick Friedell: From Bulls perspective on LaVine, 4 yrs for $60 mil has always felt like preferred number to them. At 23, nobody is sure what kind of player he'll become. If I'm the Bulls I'm not going too much higher than that because I'm still not convinced he's worth that big of an investment
KC Johnson: Zach LaVine and Kris Dunn are done for season, per Bulls. Not enough time/practices to get them in game shape.
Bulls guard Zach LaVine finds himself in a non-negotiable situation. That’s why begging coach Fred Hoiberg for even a sniff of playing time in either overtime Monday would have fallen on deaf ears. Not that LaVine didn’t think about it, especially as he sat on the bench and watched his teammates lose their grip on a game they owned most of the evening. ‘‘It should have never gotten to that point,’’ LaVine said, referring to the Bulls’ double-overtime loss to the Pelicans.
LaVine resides in the land of minutes restrictions these days. In his first three games after returning from a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee, it was a firm 20. In his last two, it was bumped up to 24. More is not an option. ‘‘I don’t think I’m going to play any more minutes [than they allow],’’ LaVine said. ‘‘I think it’s a set schedule right now, regardless of how I do or how I’m feeling.’’ That means what he makes of those minutes is what matters in his road back from the injury. ‘‘It sucked that I had to sit out the remainder of the game, but that’s just the way it is right now,’’ LaVine said. ‘‘So I’ve got to deal with it.’’
Nick Friedell: Zach LaVine hits a three with his first shot. After missing almost a year -- that one had to feel particularly nice.
Nick Friedell: Fred Hoiberg is excited for Zach LaVine to cross the last hurdle in his return. LaVine will play about 20 minutes tonight. Hoiberg is hopeful LaVine will be able to play a few more minutes in a week or so.
When asked for a prediction on how LaVine would do, Wiggins predicted 30 points. Not likely, considering LaVine will be on a 20-minute limit to start with. But both Wiggins and Towns will be rooting their friend on. “I’m happy for him,’’ Towns said. “He’s been working tremendously hard to get back on the court, and anyone who knows Zach knows he’s a hard worker. He itches to play the game of basketball every day.’’
“I know he’s going to kill it,’’ Wiggins said of LaVine. “We still talk all the time. He’s excited. He’s been ready to come back for a long time. He worked so hard to get to this point. I think he’ll go out and kill it.’’
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