Zach LaVine To Miss At Least 1-2 Weeks With Ankle Sprain

Bulls guard Zach LaVine is expected to be sidelined for at least one-to-two weeks after sustaining a right ankle sprain on Thursday vs. Toronto, sources tell Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link).

The Bulls officially confirmed that LaVine will miss at least a week, tweets K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago.

After exiting to the locker room when he initially suffered the injury in the third quarter, LaVine returned to the bench and tried to play through it for a few minutes in the fourth, but was hampered. Further testing on Friday revealed the sprain, says Charania.

It’s an unfortunate setback for the two-time All-Star, who missed 17 games earlier this season with a right foot injury and only returned to action two weeks ago. Now, he’ll be out at least another week or two with an injury on the same foot.

LaVine has been one of the more prominent players mentioned in trade rumors this season, though the three years and $138MM remaining on his contract beyond this season have reportedly suppressed his market value. The fact that he’s injured again just a few weeks before the February 8 deadline almost certainly won’t help matters on that front, either.

When Chicago was struggling early in the season, LaVine faced criticism for his perceived selfish play and that only intensified when the Bulls played pretty well without him (they were 10-7).

However, they’re 5-2 since LaVine returned to the lineup on January 5, with the 28-year-old playing far more of a complementary offensive role in averaging 15.6 PPG, 5.9 RPG and 5.3 APG on .487/.390/.810 shooting in that span. For context, LaVine has averaged 25.1 points on 18.6 field goal attempts per game over the past five seasons, compared to 15.6 points on 11.1 shots over the past seven games.

With LaVine out, players like Alex Caruso, Ayo Dosunmu, Jevon Carter and Patrick Williams could receive more minutes. It’s worth noting, however, that Williams is dealing with a right ankle issue himself and head coach Billy Donovan said it could be an injury that lingers for the rest of the season, per Joe Cowley of The Chicago Sun-Times.

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