A wry comment from Chicago Bulls star Zach LaVine after Friday’s loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder raised a red flag about his injury status.
“You drive the ball when you can’t shoot,” LaVine said with a laugh after scoring 14 of his 25 points at the free-throw line. “That’s what happens when you have a torn ligament.”
The Bulls said LaVine does not have a torn ligament in his right (shooting) hand, but coach Billy Donovan said the guard is nursing “significant swelling” over a knuckle that has affected LaVine since he jammed his hand in Wednesday’s loss to the Washington Wizards.
Donovan described the injury as “nothing major,” and LaVine underwent imaging that determined there was no significant damage outside of the swelling.
LaVine and the Bulls medical staff “spent a lot of time” focused on reducing the swelling, Donovan said, and that allowed LaVine to play Friday against the Thunder and Sunday against the Golden State Warriors.
“Nothing is holding him back from playing,” Donovan said.
Injuries have been a concern for the Bulls, who were missing All-Star forward DeMar DeRozan and backup forward Javonte Green on Sunday.
Although Donovan voiced optimism that DeRozan (right quad strain) could return to the court for Thursday’s game in Paris against the Detroit Pistons, Green will be sidelined for several more weeks after undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery.