Bulls guard Zach LaVine will visit a knee specialist in Los Angeles this week, tweets ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. LaVine wants to get a more in-depth evaluation of his left knee, which has been causing him recurring pain. He still expects to take part in All-Star Weekend, Wojnarowski adds.
LaVine underwent an MRI last month that showed no structural damage in the knee, according to K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago (Twitter link). However, he has been dealing with soreness in the knee since early January. LaVine will miss Chicago’s final two games before the All-Star break, Johnson states.
LaVine sat out Saturday’s contest against the Thunder after playing nearly 37 minutes Friday night. He was in obvious discomfort during that game, observes Rob Schaefer of NBC Sports Chicago, and has been dealing with back spasms as well as pain in the knee.
“I’m sure he’s not quite where he wants to be physically,” coach Billy Donovan said Friday. “I give him a lot of credit. He’s going out there and competing and trying to do what he can to help the team.”
LaVine, who missed five games in January because of the knee, is scheduled to take part in both the three-point contest on Saturday and the All-Star Game next Sunday. Donovan said the team will trust his judgment about participating in both events, writes Joe Cowley of The Chicago Sun-Times.
Donovan added that he has talked to LaVine about resting him in back-to-back situations for the remainder of the regular season.
‘‘More often than not, he wants to play,’’ Donovan said. ‘‘But if it’s a situation that he’s dealing with something that will cause longer-term issues or problems, I would say that he’s very smart and knows his body well. At the heart of him? Yeah, he wants to play. [But] he understands where his knee is at, he understands the plan, he understands what we’ve got to do to manage him and he’s part of that. He obviously signed off on it and agrees with it.’’