LaVine is listed as out for the game due to what the team is referring to as “left knee management.” He also may be ruled out for Friday’s game in Washington, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic, who says the veteran guard likely won’t make his season debut until Saturday’s home opener vs. Cleveland.
LaVine’s left knee issue isn’t a new one. He dealt with it for much of last season and underwent arthroscopic surgery in the spring to address the problem. The Bulls subsequently signed the 27-year-old to a five-year, maximum-salary contract, expressing confidence that the knee wouldn’t be a long-term concern going forward.
‘”I think that’s been the main thing, not having any aches and pains and being able to go out there and really play without any limitations in my own mind,” LaVine said after the Bulls’ preseason finale, per Joe Cowley of The Chicago Sun-Times. “Like, ‘OK, I can’t go left.’ Or, ‘I might not be able to dunk on this play.’ You’re not supposed to be thinking that way when you play basketball. I dealt with that a lot last year.”
There seems to be a disconnect between LaVine’s preseason comments and the fact that he may miss the first two games of the regular season. Hopefully the Bulls are just being extra cautious with their star player so he doesn’t have to battle any recurring problems in that knee this season.