CHICAGO – Over their first four games, the Bulls have generated plenty of positive vibes as they’ve enjoyed their best start to a season in 25 years.
But there was a bit of a hiccup on Wednesday when it was revealed that Zach LaVine suffered a slight ligament tear in his left hand in the win over the Raptors on Monday evening. During Wednesday’s workout at the Advocate Center, the guard had the thumb on his none-shooting hand taped up.
“I felt better than I did, obviously, in the game when it hurt a lot more,” said LaVine on Wednesday after practice, describing the tear as feeling like a Grade 1 or Grade 2 sprain of the ligament. “We’ll see how it goes. I’ll try to manage it the best I can and see how it feels tomorrow.”
Head coach Billy Donovan said that theteam will evaluate his status for Thursday’s game against the Knicks at the United Center after the shootaround before the contest. He said communication between LaVine and the medical staff will be key to seeing how much this thumb injury could affect him moving forward.
“I would think that if he does not jam it again or get hit there again that it will heal and he’ll be OK,” said Donovan. “I think anytime a guy is out there playing, that could happen. But we’ll see if he’s even in a poisition tomorrow, if he feels he can do the things he’s knows he’s capable of doing with his hand.”
Like the team itself, LaVine is enjoying a strong start to the season, scoring 25.5 points per game with 5.3 rebounds and 4.8 assists in 33.8 minutes of action per game. He said the thumb injury isn’t discouraging, but rather LaVine is spending this time figuring out how to deal with it.
“Right now I’m trying to figure out how to manage the pain and keep it safe and then going forward I’ll get more information on it if I plan on playing with it,” said LaVine. “I think that’s just the main thing is dealing with the pain. Obviously, if they say I’m safe, I’m safe. But if it’s a pain thing and I’m able to play, I can deal with it.”
Certainly, the Bulls hope he can to continue the team’s great start along with his own.