CHICAGO – For a second time in less than a year, he’s returning to the Bulls after dealing with a bout with COVID-19.
At the end of the pandemic-shortened 2020-2021 season. Zach LaVine was sidelined after contracting the virus and it happened again in December of this year after a team-wide outbreak.
But the All-Star wasn’t down on his luck about contracting COVID-19 for a second time as he returned to the Bulls on Thursday after clearing the NBA’s health and safety protocol.
“It is what it is. Obviously made it through everything OK, my family’s OK, so that’s what I was worried about,” said LaVine. “Yeah, it’s frustrating, but that’s the world we live in right now. A lot of guys on a lot of teams are dealing with it, so I’m just thankful everyone I’ve only missed two games.”
That’s because of a number of postponements that have come for the team over the past week-and-a-half, two because of a Bulls’ outbreak that put ten people into the NBA’s protocol. Wednesday’s called-off game against the Raptors was due to an outbreak on the Toronto team, preventing LaVine from missing a total of five games.
Instead, he has a good shot to return after just two contests out when the Bulls resume play against the Pacers on Sunday night at the United Center. LaVine said that he feels good after his bout with COVID-19 and was able to remain active while away from the team.
It’s much different from last spring, when the guard experienced symptoms and needed three weeks to recover.
“Last year I was sick. I was out like 20 days. This time I was asymptomatic and really was able to just like work out and get my body some rest, to be honest with you,” said LaVine. “Just try to keep myself sane by watching film, watching Netflix, watching movies, and working out.”
But now he’s returned to the floor, just like Coby White, Javonte Green, DeMar DeRozan, Troy Brown Jr., with the hope that others will exit the protocol in coming days.