Chicago Bulls shooting guard Zach LaVine left the team for Los Angeles this week to visit with a knee specialist.
The two-time Slam Dunk champion, who initially hurt his knee on January 14 against the Golden State Warriors, has been experiencing discomfort in the knee since coming back from a five-game absence on January 24 versus the Oklahoma City Thunder.
LaVine tore his left ACL on February 3, 2017, when he was playing for the Minnesota Timberwolves. Multiple MRIs showed that the Washington native’s ACL was intact, but there was some swelling in the knee, which is why LaVine wanted to visit with a knee specialist he was comfortable with.
Several Bulls fans were worried about LaVine when they heard that the two-time All-Star was seeing a knee specialist. However, Chicago head coach Billy Donovan put their worries to bed.
Donovan: LaVine’s Visit Went ‘Very Well’
Donovan told Bulls reporters that LaVine’s visit in Los Angeles went “very well,” according to K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago. The UCLA product had some swelling taken out of his left knee and was given a lubricant.
LaVine is in good spirits, per Donovan. The Bulls’ second-leading scorer has been cleared by doctors to participate in All-Star weekend in Cleveland. LaVine is in the 3-point shooting contest and was drafted by Brooklyn Nets superstar Kevin Durant for the All-Star Game.
“I think right now, the doctors feel totally fine about him resuming playing,” Donovan told Bulls reporters.
LaVine is averaging 24.6 points, 4.9 rebounds and 4.5 assists this season while shooting 48.2% from the field, 39.9% from beyond the arc and 86.9% from the free-throw line. Bulls fans have to be relieved that their star guard won’t need surgery for the second time in his career.
Behind the spectacular play of LaVine and DeMar DeRozan, the Bulls are in second place in the Eastern Conference and will make the playoffs this season for the first time since 2017. LaVine recently spoke with Heavy about being on a winning team for the first time in his career, and as expected, he’s thrilled.
LaVine on Being on a Winning Team: ‘This Is What I’ve Always Wanted’
LaVine has never been to the playoffs in the NBA. That will change this year and the 26-year-old believes the Bulls can compete for a title.
“Yeah, I mean, it’s good,” LaVine told Heavy about being on a winning team. “This is what I’ve always wanted, but sometimes when you’re drafted, you gotta play the cards you’re dealt. Not everybody can immediately be on a playoff team or a championship team.
“So all those experiences leading up to this point has helped me where I’m at today. Obviously, the team that we have around us, moving forward, I think we have a shot at competing for things that big.”
It will certainly be fun to watch LaVine play in the postseason for the first time. He’s one of the most gifted scorers in the league, and now that his knee will feel better after swelling was taken out, don’t be surprised if LaVine starts dunking on people again.