The Chicago Bulls will be starting their 2022-23 season on Wednesday night when they take on the Miami Heat.
Beating the Heat won’t be easy – that team was the number-one seed in the Eastern Conference last season, after all.
But it’ll be even harder for the Bulls because they will be lacking a key piece of their roster.
Zach LaVine (injury management) ruled out Wednesday.
— Underdog NBA (@Underdog__NBA) October 19, 2022
Guard Zach LaVine will not participate in the team’s first game on Wednesday night.
This is because the player is undergoing left knee injury management, according to the Bulls.
LaVine said that he hasn’t faced a setback in his return to the court but is simply managing the load to his knee and getting in peak physical shape before coming back.
The Bulls aren’t happy about losing LaVine as the season kicks off.
They’re also not happy about the fact that his status for Friday’s game against the Washington Wizards is also unknown.
But at least the player is experiencing this absence at the start of the season and not at the end when the team will need him even more.
LaVine signed a five-year, $215 million max contract with the Bulls during the offseason and played through nagging soreness in his knee during the second half of last season.
That is why this current recovery is so important: it is healing a problem that has existed for some time and will hopefully prevent it from returning.
LaVine isn’t the only Bull missing games.
Lonzo Ball, also a guard, is also recovering from knee surgery and his estimated time of return is long after LaVine’s.
The Bulls will push on without LaVine but they will be counting down the minutes until he returns.