(670 The Score) There remains no firm timetable for Bulls star guard Zach LaVine return, but he’s progressing as well as the team could hope.
LaVine’s injured left knee is responding “very, very well” to continued treatment, coach Billy Donovan said before the Bulls (28-15) visited the Bucks (28-19) on Friday evening. LaVine has missed the past three games with what’s listed as knee soreness on the official injury report. He doesn’t have any significant structural damage, the team previously said after he underwent an MRI.
LaVine is doing on-court work. The Bulls are “optimistic” that LaVine could return mid-to-late next week assuming he continues progressing at his current rate, Donovan said.
“He continues to day by day get better,” Donovan said.
In other injury news, Bulls guard Lonzo Ball will undergo left knee surgery sometime next week, Donovan said. The Bulls announced Thursday that Ball would have surgery and miss six to eight weeks. Imaging has shown that Ball has a meniscus tear, but doctors won’t know the full extent of it until the procedure takes place. As part of the plan, Ball will do prehab work on his knee before having the surgery, Donovan said.
Donovan also clarified that Ball’s return timeline will be six to eight weeks from the time of the surgery, not from the day the Bulls announced the news.
Lavine is averaging 24.9 points per game, the 11th-best mark in the NBA entering Friday, on superb efficiency, shooting 49.1% overall and 41.2% on 3-pointers. Ball is averaging 13.0 points, 5.4 rebounds and 5.1 assists.
Bulls forward Derrick Jones Jr. (knee) is running on the treadmill and has “made a lot of progress,” Donovan said. Forward Javonte Green (groin) is also progressing, but the medical staff is giving his body time to calm down and recover between the high-intensity aspects of his rehab, Donovan said in explaining why the team isn’t sure of a return timeline yet.
Cody Westerlund is a sports editor for 670TheScore.com and covers the Bulls. Follow him on Twitter @CodyWesterlund.