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Bulls coach Jim Boylen optimistic Zach LaVine can play vs. Clippers on Friday

Zach LaVine, Bulls

Chicago Bulls head coach Jim Boylen is optimistic shooting guard Zach LaVine can play on Friday against the LA Clippers.

LaVine has missed the previous two games with a patellar tendon strain in his right knee.

In 60 games this season for the Bulls, Zach LaVine is averaging 23.8 points, 4.6 rebounds and 4.4 assists. The high-flyer is shooting 46.8 percent from the field, 36.8 percent from beyond the arc and 83.3 percent from the free-throw line.

LaVine tore the ACL in his left knee during the 2016-17 season with the Minnesota Timberwolves. The good news is that LaVine’s current ailment isn’t in his surgically repaired knee.

The 24-year-old guard did practice on Wednesday, so that’s a positive sign he’s on track to play against the Clippers on Friday. Chicago is 19-50 on the season, which is good for 13th place in the Eastern Conference standings.

There are some Bulls fans who want Chicago to shut LaVine down for the season since he’s so valuable. The Bulls are going to finish with one of the worst records in the league, so risking LaVine’s future health during a rebuild season doesn’t make much sense.

LaVine signed a four-year, $78 million deal with Chicago last summer to stay in the Windy City.