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Bulls’ Zach LaVine still day-to-day after MRI confirms patellar tendon strain

Zach LaVine, Bulls

Chicago Bulls shooting guard Zach LaVine underwent an MRI on his right knee, and it confirmed a patellar tendon strain, the team announced Tuesday. LaVine will miss Tuesday’s game against the Los Angeles Lakers and will be day-to-day moving forward.

LaVine missed the Bulls’ last game with the injury, a 131-108 loss to the Detroit Pistons over the weekend. The 24-year-old dynamo tore the ACL in his left knee in early 2017, and he also missed the end of last season with knee soreness in that surgically repaired knee.

There haven’t been any discussions yet about shutting LaVine down for the season, but it could be a possibility if the injury lingers. The Bulls have nothing left to play for at this point given their 19-49 record, so shutting him down could help in terms of draft position and his own long-term health.

Prior to this injury, LaVine was playing the best basketball of his career. He averaged 24.5 points, 5.8 assists and 5.4 rebounds while shooting 53.2 percent overall and 49.0 percent from 3-point range in February. He then started March with a career-high 47-point effort in the four-overtime marathon against the Atlanta Hawks, and he poured in 39 points and the game-winning layup in a thrilling victory over the Philadelphia 76ers last week.

For the season, Zach LaVine is averaging 23.8 points, 4.6 rebounds and 4.4 rebounds in 34.5 minutes per game. He’s shooting 46.8 percent from the field and 36.8 percent on 3-pointers.