Chicago Bullsʼ Guard Zach LaVine Will Miss 2-4 Weeks With Ankle Injury
During the Bullsʼ practice on December 29th, Head Coach Jim Boylen revealed Zach LaVineʼs injury to the media. According to Boylen, LaVine will miss 2-4 weeks with a left ankle issue. The Bulls later disclosed that LaVineʼs injury had occurred in the 4th quarter in the Bulls vs Orlando game on Dec. 13 in Mexico City, via social media.
Teddy Greenstein, a reported for the Chicago Tribune, later announced that the complications in Zach LaVineʼs left ankle had been identified as a lower ankle sprain of the deltoid ligament; via a public statement by Coach Boylen.
Zach LaVine, in his second season with Chicago, had been playing career-best basketball, averaging 23.8 points, 4.9 rebounds and 4.8 assists in 35.3 minutes per game. LaVine had been averaging six free throw attempts, a boost from his previous high of 4.5 FTA per game, set last season in the 24 games prior to a knee injury that ended his season.
The Bulls will be forced to miss 3 of their key players over the next month. Bigman Bobby Portis, will be sidelined 2-4 weeks, after a sprained right ankle during the fourth quarter of the Bulls vs Nets game on December 29th. In addition to the absence of Portis and LaVine, the Bulls are still missing Forward Denzel Valentine, who underwent a left ankle stabilization procedure on November 27th. Valentine is expected to miss the duration of the 2018-19 regular season, and is anticipated to resume basketball activities in 6 months.
As of December 23rd, the Bulls are currently 9-25 on the season and 13th in the eastern conference, indicating that they are clearly in rebuilding mode. With the absence of key players Bobby Portis, Zach LaVine and Denzel Valentine, the Chicago Bulls are expected to pile on more losses, which will help them tank to receive a higher pick in the draft.
The Chicago Bulls are currently 13th in the eastern conference, and they are expected to fall further down due to the absence of LaVine and Portis. Will the Bulls bounce back in the remaining half of the season after LaVine and Portis are back in the rotation? Or will it be too late to make the playoffs?