It hasn’t been the Chicago Bulls‘ year when it comes to injuries.
The most glaring absence, of course, has been that of starting point guard Lonzo Ball, who has missed the entire season recovering from a knee injury. Now, it’s looking as if the team will be without key reserve Javonte Green for the remainder of the season as well.
The 29-year-old backup guard last played on December 31. He had a knee debridement procedure in January, but with 17 games remaining on the schedule, it would be a complete shock to see him get on the court before season’s end. The Bulls released a statement about Green’s injury on March 6, noting “there is currently no timetable for his return and his status will be updated in approximately two weeks.”
Billy Donovan on Javonte Green: Lateral Movements Are Still an Issue
Bulls head coach Billy Donovan also had some telling things to say about the veteran guard’s injury, noting that moving side-to-side was still not something Green has progressed to doing.
“We’re kind of there with him,” Donovan said about Green, per Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times. “Different stuff of what they’ve tried to push him toward, they’ve got to go off his tolerance, so we’ve been kind of at the same thing where the linear, straight-ahead running has been pretty good. They have not been able to progress him yet to any lateral stuff.”
As Cowley points out, Green has the third-highest plus-minus value on the Bulls roster at plus-55, so the team is better when he’s available and on the court.
“I don’t know if I would refer to it as a setback,” Donovan added in reference to Green’s injury. “He just hasn’t been able to move to the next step. That’s kind of where he’s at physically right now. I did not ask any further questions of, ‘Hey, how much longer before we think that he can start to do some of that stuff?’ We’ll have to wait and see.”
While the Bulls have not officially ruled Green out for the remainder of the season, it’s highly unlikely he will progress to the point he needs to be by the time this season is up.
Javonte Green Has Been Underrated in His Time With the Bulls
Green was averaging 6.4 points, 2.6 rebounds in 15.9 minutes a game in the month of December and 5.9 points and 2.9 boards on the season (stats via ESPN). He was also having the best year of his career as a shooter before going down with the knee injury, hitting 38.2% of his shots from beyond the arc and 58.7% of his shots from the field.
His numbers aren’t huge, but his contributions to the team have been underrated in his three years in the Windy City. He has been an invaluable utility man, filling in as a starter when needed while also injecting a spark from the bench while in a reserve role.
The 6-foot-5, 205-pound veteran has played in 109 games for Chicago over the last three seasons, starting 46. In that span, he averaged 6.2 points, 3.5 rebounds and 0.9 steals in just over 19 minutes a game. Hopefully, his recovery proceeds without issue.