Zach LaVine To Remain Sidelined Through Trade Deadline

Bulls guard Zach LaVine won’t be back on the court before next Thursday’s trade deadline.

Speaking today to reporters, including K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago (Twitter link), head coach Billy Donovan said that LaVine’s right ankle sprain has healed, but he’s still feeling discomfort in his right foot and will require at least one more week of rest.

The star guard has missed the Bulls’ past six contests after being sidelined for 17 games earlier this season due to a right foot issue.

“It bugs you, a bony, prominent area,” LaVine said back in December about his foot pain, per Johnson (Twittter link). “You really don’t want to start messing around with that, that fifth metatarsal area and it gets more and more irritated. It’s just smart to calm it down now to where I can get back to 100% and hopefully finish the season strong and help everybody out.”

LaVine will likely require a ramp-up period to get back in game shape even if his foot is feeling better in a week, so it wouldn’t be a surprise if he’s held out through the All-Star break. The Bulls’ last game prior to All-Star weekend is on February 14 in Cleveland.

Of course, it’s possible that LaVine has played his last game as a Bull and will be on a new team by the time he’s ready to return, given that he has been involved in trade rumors all season. However, his value was already down this season due to his dip in production, his maximum-salary contract, and his injury history — a nagging foot issue won’t do anything to improve his stock on the trade market.

In more positive Bulls injury news, forward Torrey Craig appears to be on the verge from returning from the right plantar fascia injury that has kept him on the shelf since December 16. Donovan said today that Craig practiced in full and could be available on Saturday if he feels good during Chicago’s shootaround (Twitter link via Johnson).

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