CHICAGO (670 The Score) – Bulls star guard Zach LaVine suffered a left knee injury early in his team’s eventual 138-96 loss to the Warriors on Friday evening at the United Center and didn’t return.
The Bulls were hopeful that LaVine has avoided a serious injury, but he’ll have an MRI on Saturday to determine the severity of it. LaVine won’t travel with the team to on its flight to Boston late Friday night ahead of a matchup against the Celtics on Saturday.
Upon leaving the United Center under his own power, LaVine expressed confidence to those around him that his injury wasn’t serious, NBC Sports Chicago reported.
LaVine took an intentional foul with 8:28 left in the first quarter, then left for the locker room with a trainer and didn’t return. Replays suggested LaVine tweaked his knee a few possessions prior on an offensive rebound with 8:57 remaining.
“I think he came down for an offensive rebound and maybe just felt some discomfort,” coach Billy Donovan said. “I think after that, he tried to play a little bit and was dealing with some pain in his knee.
“He kind of came down a little funny, and he’s got some discomfort there right now and they want to take a look. And he didn’t feel like he could return – and it may have been both him and medical talking about that, not returning.”
LaVine has been dealing with a bit of swelling in his left knee recently, NBC Sports Chicago reported.
“The length and duration of the season and the number of games, these guys are always dealing with different issues and things like that – but obviously nothing significant that was holding him out of games or anything like that,” Donovan said.
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 entered Friday averaging 25.6 points per game, which ranked 10th in the NBA. He has played in 38 of the Bulls’ 40 games this season, missing two due to COVID-19 protocols. Without him, the Bulls (27-13) struggled to keep up with the dynamic Warriors (31-11), shooting 42.5%.
“It was a shock to all of us,” Bulls forward DeMar DeRozan said of seeing LaVine exit. “Hopefully, he’s all right. I’m definitely going to check on him once I get out of here.
“I don’t know the severity of it, first and foremost. Hopefully it’s nothing too serious. Understand, we got to hold it down whatever it is.”
Cody Westerlund is a sports editor for 670TheScore.com and covers the Bulls. Follow him on Twitter @CodyWesterlund.