Zach LaVine has thumb injury, hopes to play through it


Zach LaVine recently underwent an MRI which revealed a left thumb injury that the Chicago Bulls' All-Star guard called a "small tear in the tendon" after the team's Wednesday practice.

LaVine was a partial participant in practice, and did so with the thumb taped. Bulls head coach Billy Donovan said he wouldn't term the injury severe, but called it "more than mild." LaVine's status going forward, Donovan added, will be based on how he responds physically and dialogue with the team's medical staff.

"That will be the medical and Zach sitting down and talking, figuring out what he thinks is best and what the pain is like and how much he can tolerate and what he can do," Donovan said when asked if LaVine missing one or more games is on the table. "I think those are things Zach and the medical staff will communicate and talk about — certainly after today's practice and probably after [Thursday's] shootaround."

The Bulls next play Thursday night at home against the New York Knicks, then host the Utah Jazz on Saturday. LaVine is listed as questionable for the Knicks game with what is officially being termed a "left thumb sprain."

LaVine said he sustained the injury during the Bulls' 111-108 win over the Toronto Raptors on Monday, but entered that game with a jammed thumb.

"I don't know yet," LaVine said when asked if the injury could worsen if he attempts to play through it. "I think right now its just trying to figure out how to manage the pain and keep it safe, and then going forward I'll get more information on it if i plan on playing with it."


LaVine has typically played through bump-and-bruise type injuries in the past, and said, in this case, "if it's a pain (tolerance) thing and I'm able to play, then I can deal with it." But he also acknowledged that resting may be what is ultimately best.

"Yeah," he said when asked if him missing games has been discussed. "Obviously I don't want to put myself in any danger, I don't have all the information on it yet. We'll see how I feel tomorrow, and going from there.

"You know me, I try to play through everything. If I'm able to, I will. If not we'll see how it goes."

LaVine leads the undefeated Bulls in scoring through four games, averaging 25.5 points while shooting 50 percent from the field, 44.4 percent from 3-point range and 95.2 percent from the free-throw line.

"It's not discouraging," he said of the injury blip. "I don't know how its going to affect me or the team, and I think we'll be OK either way. That's part of the game is injuries and you have to play with them. I wish it wasn't, but we'll know how to manage it."

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