Bulls' Zach LaVine has no significant structural damage in injured left knee


(670 The Score) Bulls star guard Zach LaVine suffered no significant structural damage in injuring his left knee Friday, the team announced Saturday after he underwent an MRI.

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It remains unclear how long LaVine will be sidelined, but he isn’t expected to miss significant time, the Bulls said. He’ll be reassessed early next week, at which point a timetable will be determined.

LaVine is undergoing targeted therapy in his left knee, which he hurt while grabbing an offensive rebound about three minutes into the Bulls’ 138-96 loss to the Warriors on Friday at the United Center. LaVine intentionally committed a foul soon after to stop play and then left to be evaluated in the locker room.

“Very optimistic, very grateful that it wasn’t something more," coach Billy Donovan said Saturday evening. "That’s why they wanted to do the MRI. He’ll continue to get therapy. We’ll re-evaluate him after a period time. I don’t think it’s something that’s long-term, which is a good thing. The biggest thing is how does he responds to therapy, treatment, those kinds of things. But certainly, I think everybody was happy it wasn’t anything more than that.”

Donovan added he doesn't expect LaVine's timeline to be "weeks on end" or anything like that.

“It’s hard just because we have so many games coming in such a short period of time, and I would hate to in some way put a timeline on it where he goes past that timeline – is it something more?" Donovan said. "What’s the problem? So I think the biggest thing is going to be him being evaluated after a period of time by the medical people, how he’s feeling, those kind of things to get him to a place where he’s back. But I think the consensus is by everybody that I’ve spoken to is it’s not something that’s going to be long-term, weeks on end and things like that. Just see how he responds to therapy. I think once they see how responds to therapy, it will probably be a clearer view of when a return date would be possible.”

LaVine expressed thanks on Twitter on Saturday upon learning of his MRI results.

LaVine suffered a torn ACL in his left knee in February 2017 while playing for the Timberwolves and rehabbed for about 11 months before making his Bulls debut after being traded that offseason.

LaVine is averaging 24.9 points per game, which ranks 11th in the NBA. The Bulls (27-13) sit in first place in the East and visit the Celtics (21-22) on Saturday evening. The game can be heard on 670 The Score, with pregame set for 7:15 p.m. CT.

The Bulls will also be without point guard Lonzo Ball against the Celtics due to left knee soreness, an ailment that can be traced to gradual wear and tear, Donovan said. Ball is also doubtful to play when Chicago visits Memphis on Monday, Donovan said.

Cody Westerlund is a sports editor for 670TheScore.com and covers the Bulls. Follow him on Twitter @CodyWesterlund.