Bulls' Zach LaVine intent on playing through ankle sprain

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Rob Schaefer
·3 min read
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
This content is not available due to your privacy preferences.
Update your settings here to see it.

LaVine intent on playing through ankle sprain originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

With 26 seconds remaining in the Bulls' 103-94 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers on the eve of the trade deadline, Zach LaVine exited the game and immediately strode to the Bulls locker room with a hitch in his step.

"Obviously the game was over, I got him off the floor immediately," Bulls coach Billy Donovan said that night, confirming he noticed LaVine limping in the fourth quarter. "I asked him a couple of times if he was OK. He said could play."

The injury, eventually termed a right ankle sprain, landed LaVine on the team's injury report in advance of Saturday's road matchup with the San Antonio Spurs, their first game since the deadline. Designated as questionable for most of the day, LaVine suited up, but didn't look quite himself, finishing with 18 points on 6-for-15 shooting in the Bulls' 120-104 loss.

Even as the Bulls threatened to mount a massive second-half comeback, LaVine sat the entire fourth quarter and finished with 28 minutes played -- his third-lowest total of the season behind only early-season blowout defeats to the Atlanta Hawks and Milwaukee Bucks.

He admitted postgame his ankle wasn't 100 percent.

"I was hurt, but I wanted to play," LaVine said after the Spurs game. "I’m going to go out there and try to do the best I can. If that’s at 50, 60, 70 percent, whatever it is, I’m going to try to give it my all."

LaVine said the ailment became easier to navigate as the game wore on, and that he hopes additional treatment before Monday's matchup with the Golden State Warriors in San Francisco will help him further mend.

But even with the Bulls' final 28 games of the regular season coming in a span of 49 days -- including eight of their next nine on the road -- he didn't sound keen on rest days.

"I don’t think that way," LaVine said. "I think if I’m able to go out there and play and contribute in any way, if I’m at 50, 60, 70 percent or whatever like I said before, I still think I’m very effective and I can go out there and help.

"If I feel like I’m a detriment to the team and I’m hurting, I’ll sit out. But I can play through pain. That’s one thing, as long as they clear me and they say I’m OK to play, I’m going to go out there and try to do what I do.”

LaVine and Coby White are the only Bulls to appear in all 44 of the team's games this season.

Donovan said his decision to not play LaVine in the fourth stemmed more from riding the hot, reserve hands that pulled the Bulls back from down 36 points in the third quarter to within nine in the fourth.

 

But with the Bulls now 19-25 -- in the East's No. 10 slot and two games back of No. 9 -- it will be something to monitor as the stretch run marches on.

 

RELATED: Why Vučević, LaVine won't overreact to loss in Bulls debut

Click here to subscribe to the Bulls Talk Podcast for free.

Download

Download MyTeams Today!