Zach LaVine may have returned to action in the Chicago Bulls' home opener against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Saturday, but that doesn't mean he is 100 percent healthy. In fact, he might not be at full health for the majority of the first half of the season or more.
LaVine admitted as much in his presser after their 128-96 loss to the Cavs. When asked if he feels like he'll be able to play in back-to-back games at some point this 2022-23, the superstar guard confessed that he himself is not confident about it.
“I don’t know. Obviously, you guys know me. I like playing all the time. But gotta think big picture and what’s most important. We’ll figure that out as it goes along,” LaVine said, per KC Johnson of NBC Sports.
Zach LaVine is currently dealing with a knee issue. To recall, he underwent surgery on his left knee during the offseason to address an injury that he dealt with in the second half of the 2021-22 campaign.
The injury forced him to miss their first two games of the 2022-23 season before the Bulls assessed him to be ready for their showdown against the Cavs. However, as LaVine said, he is not yet totally healed.
Bulls head coach Billy Donovan echoed similar sentiments prior to Saturday's contest. He pointed out that while “there’s nothing wrong with him structurally,” his injury is “something that we’ll have to manage.”
LaVine played 28 minutes versus Cleveland and actually had no restriction. He finished with 23 points, three rebounds, four assists and two steals. Clearly, though, the fact that LaVine isn't ready to play back-to-backs suggests the Bulls are trying to lessen the wear and tear in his knees.