LaVine, who sprained his deltoid ligament Thursday night, will miss at least two games. Early indications are that he will need a least a week to rest, Johnson reports, but the team doesn’t think surgery will be necessary.
“We are going to consult with some other specialists and try to figure out exactly what’s going on and create a plan of action,” coach Jim Boylen said. “We’re disappointed and sorry that he was hurt. But we’re hopeful we can get a good evaluation and get moving towards recovery. 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.”
The Bulls were in Mexico City on Thursday, and an MRI wasn’t performed until the team arrived in San Antonio Friday afternoon. The team wants its specialists in Chicago to review the results before deciding on the next step of treatment.
LaVine is having by far his best NBA season, averaging career highs in points (23.8), rebounds (4.9) and assists (4.8). He is providing plenty of value on the new four-year, $80MM contract he received when the Bulls matched an offer sheet from the Kings in July.
Losing LaVine is the latest in a long string of bad luck for the Bulls, who just saw Lauri Markkanen, Kris Dunn and Bobby Portis all return from early-season injuries. The team is having trouble building any continuity with a constantly changing lineup.
Although Chicago is short-handed, Jabari Parker still won’t return to the rotation, Johnson adds. Boylen plans to start Dunn and Ryan Arcidiacono in the backcourt tonight, while Chandler Hutchison will return after missing Thursday’s game with an illness. The Bulls are trying to work out a trade involving Parker.