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Zach LaVine speaks about injury, team's recent success, trade narratives

Will Gottlieb Avatar
December 7, 2023

After Wednesday’s game, the Chicago Bulls announced Zach LaVine will now miss an additional 3-4 weeks as he recovers from a foot injury.

LaVine spoke to the media Thursday morning to address the injury, the team’s success without him and how all of that ties into the recent reports that both he and the team are open to exploring trades.

LaVine calls his injury inflammation of the lateral side of his right foot: “It’s bony prominent area where you really don’t want to start messing around with that fifth metatarsal area and it gets more and more irritated.”

His rehab plan is to stay off of it and get Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) Injections to facilitate healing and letting the inflammation calm down.

“It’s pretty much just is just rest,” LaVine said. “You gotta be able to you stay off of it. I’ve been trying to train and do active, you know, rehab to get back out there.”

“So rest for a little bit, get some PRP,” he continued. “Hopefully that will do some good things for it and continue to promote that healing. And then check back in in a week or two and see where you’re at.”

LaVine says he wanted to play Wednesday against the Hornets, but ran into trouble while ramping up.

“I don’t pull punches,” he said. “I try to play through everything.”

Meanwhile, the Bulls are winning, and playing their best ball, with LaVine off the court. They’re 3-1 since he left the game against the Celtics, fueling the narrative that the team is fine without him.

“I’m happy for the team,” he said. “If I’m not happy for the team, that would be saying something about me. But you know, I’m the first guy out there. However you gotta get a win, get a win. We were in a spot where, early, we weren’t looking very good. And whatever may sparked it, you know, if it was me off the court, that’s a narrative that people will run with. But we’ve won three games and I’m happy for it.”

In fact, LaVine believes he fits right back in with the way the team is playing now, if and when he does return.

“This last 3-game winning streak shows what we were trying to do at training camp, what we were working on,” he said. “Whenever I do get back out there, it’s not hard to implement myself into something that we’ve been working on all summer.”

Of course, the ‘if’ is a big piece. Most players who signed as free agents this past offseason become trade eligible on December 15. Those who received salary increases of over 20 percent re-signing with their incumbent teams are trade eligible January 15.

It’s quite possible LaVine has played his last game as a Bull. But he’s not thinking about it that way.

“I don’t think of anything like that,” he said. “The main thing I’m thinking about is getting my foot right and hopefully getting back out there helping those guys.”

LaVine says that as long as he is on the team, he’s committed to the team.

“The storylines that are out there right now about me is on both something that wasn’t said completely verbally to the media,” he said. “It’s something that is behind closed doors that a bunch of narratives can get spun around and said about me and things and stories will be portrayed. It’s part of the business, that comes with it.

“Am I still a part of this team and very committed? Yeah,” he continued. “I’ve got a Bulls jersey on and committed here and for as long as I’ll be here I’ll still support and love Chicago and go out there and play my heart out for these guys. That’s never gonna change.”

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