Bulls' Zach LaVine to miss 'another week' in COVID-19 protocol

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Rob Schaefer
·2 min read
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LaVine out 'another week' in COVID protocol, per Donovan originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

Wednesday marks 14 days since Zach LaVine first entered the NBA's COVID-19 health and safety protocol on April 15. As the Bulls prepare to face the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden, he remains quarantined in Chicago.

Head coach Billy Donovan still isn't sure of a precise return date for LaVine, but said before tipoff, "we're hopeful that this is probably gonna take another week is our best guess."

"There will be things that he'll have to do going into this week that are set by the league in terms of the policies and protocols," Donovan said. "I would say that we probably have a much, much better idea of when his return would be probably after this week is completed, based on what he has to do with the protocols."

The NBA's return-to-play guidelines are extensive and include cardiac screening for those who have tested positive for COVID-19. LaVine hasn't been allowed to work out at the Advocate Center while the Bulls traveled because he has been in quarantine.  

Donovan explicitly ruled LaVine out Friday, when the Bulls face the Milwaukee Bucks in Chicago, adding that the team will have a "clearer picture of what his return date could potentially be" on Monday or Tuesday of next week. The Bulls visit the Atlanta Hawks on Saturday and host the Philadelphia 76ers on Monday, then have two days off before a road matchup with the Charlotte Hornets on Thursday, May 6.

The Bulls enter play Wednesday 4-3 since in seven contests LaVine has missed in protocol, with impressive road wins over the Boston Celtics and Miami Heat embedded in that record. Still, LaVine's 27.5 point per game average, elite efficiency and dynamic offensive skill set have been missed.

After the Knicks game, the Bulls have 10 games left in the regular season, and as of this writing, sit one game back of the Washington Wizards for the last play-in spot in the East.

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