Zach LaVine won’t be available for the Bulls when they open their season in Miami on Wednesday night, the team announced today (via Twitter).
LaVine is listed as out for the game due to what the team is referring to as “left knee management.” He also may be ruled out for Friday’s game in Washington, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic, who says the veteran guard likely won’t make his season debut until Saturday’s home opener vs. Cleveland.
LaVine’s left knee issue isn’t a new one. He dealt with it for much of last season and underwent arthroscopic surgery in the spring to address the problem. The Bulls subsequently signed the 27-year-old to a five-year, maximum-salary contract, expressing confidence that the knee wouldn’t be a long-term concern going forward.
After reporting to camp this fall, LaVine spoke repeatedly about how good his knee was feeling, and was able to play in three of four preseason games.
‘”I think that’s been the main thing, not having any aches and pains and being able to go out there and really play without any limitations in my own mind,” LaVine said after the Bulls’ preseason finale, per Joe Cowley of The Chicago Sun-Times. “Like, ‘OK, I can’t go left.’ Or, ‘I might not be able to dunk on this play.’ You’re not supposed to be thinking that way when you play basketball. I dealt with that a lot last year.”
As Cowley details in a new story, LaVine gave a more cryptic explanation today when discussing the team’s decision to hold him out of its opener.
“I just want to make sure I’m safe in bringing myself back in and managing it,” LaVine said. “It’s the way it is. Just for going forward, I want to make sure I’m 100% at the end of the season, too. So I think the best thing is just managing it and having the team support, me supporting myself in going out there and being the best I can.’”
There seems to be a disconnect between LaVine’s preseason comments and the fact that he may miss the first two games of the regular season. Hopefully the Bulls are just being extra cautious with their star player and he doesn’t have to battle any recurring problems in that knee this season.
9 thoughts on “Zach LaVine To Miss Bulls’ Season Opener”
Needs a Knee management day before the season even starts. Uh Oh
Got 3 out 4 exhibition games in – that’s the main thing… to hell with the games that count.
Everyone said he didn’t have any true knee issues and bam knee issue.
I love the kid style but the Bulls will regret that contract.
Yeah idk how they can sell “nothing to see here” when he’s missing the first game of the season. Load management is for the second half of back to backs, 3 games in 5 days, maybe extra rest going into a break in the schedule, etc. I hope I’m wrong and everything is peachy, but it sure seems like something isn’t right here.
I hate to say I told everybody this wasn’t a great idea, And it’s way early, But not the greatest start. These Max contracts are team wreckers for the most part. Not many of them turn out great for any team.
Man, as a Bulls fan, especially with what has been going on with Lonzo, this news is a bit troubling.
Idc what LaVine, Donovan, nor AK says you aren’t sitting him out the first two games to be precautionary. This is a direct result of LaVine feeling some type of soreness or something after that 3rd pre-season game…
Now, I have no doubts that LaVine can still be a stud without his extra bounce, because he can still shoot, drive, dribble, make plays, and finish around the rim…However, he cannot do anything while riding the bench.
If they’re already nursing his knee, and he is still having issues then that likely means another serious issue will pop up in the not so distant future. It would truly only be a matter of time honestly. I mean, no one can definutively say one way or the other, but it doesn’t look good..That’s for sure!!
I’m just hoping and praying that he experienced a little soreness, but it was just due to routine soreness from him putting that muscle through such a strenuous workout..
If that’s the case, that is normal and to be expected, especially when you’re running up and down a court for 20+ minutes, jumping, starting and stopping, etc.
The scary part though is the only way we will know is if LaVine continues to have to sit out multiple games to rest up throughout the entire season. If he starts to sit less and less, and makes it where he is sitting between longer periods of time then that would be excellent news.
LaVine can translate his game without his crazy vertical, the dude is a legit bucket, but there’s nothing he can do while on the bench..And with him AND Lonzo out, that would be it for the Bulls chances at a playoff spot/run
Clearly, there is an issue with Zach LaVine’s knee.
LaVine has done everything right and has worked really, really hard to become the player that he is.
You are correct. LaVine has advanced his game so much, that not having extra bounce really shouldn’t affect his overall numbers that much. He’s a damn good player!
Not a good sign at all…
Damn fun player to eatch so I hope there’s no fire to this smoke…