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Bulls’ Zach LaVine shouldn’t miss much time with thigh contusion

Due to a thigh contusion injury, Chicago Bulls young star Zach LaVine made an early exit during the team’s ugly preseason game against the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday night. LaVine downplayed the injury in the immediate aftermath of the game:

While the 23-year-old high leaper said he could’ve returned to the game if it actually mattered, Bulls head coach Fred Hoiberg held LaVine out of Thursday’s practice as a precaution. The guard isn’t expected to miss much time:

Before being traded to the Bulls, LaVine unfortunately tore his ACL while still playing for the Minnesota Timberwolves. Even so, the Bulls’ front office strongly believe in the two-time Slam Dunk champ’s potential, matching the Sacramento Kings’ lucrative contract offer to the four-year star out of UCLA.

Despite some inconsistencies in his return from the injury last season, LaVine put up 16.7 points, 3.9 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game. He appeared in 24 games for the rebuilding Bulls, and now he’s trying to bounce back with a fully healthy knee.

The Bulls are entering the second season of their rebuilding process, and their success this year will depend on the growth and improvement of its young stars. This summer, the team also signed Jabari Parker, an injury-prone but talented young scorer. With impressive stretch forward Lauri Markkanen sidelined due to a right elbow injury he sustained in training camp, the team will depend on LaVine and Parker to carry the offense for the young Bulls.