NBA

LaVine expecting NBA return at start of next season after meeting Bulls before Clippers defeat

By Sports Desk March 10, 2024

Chicago Bulls star Zach LaVine hopes to be fit for the start of the next NBA campaign after his season-ending injury to his right foot.

LaVine, who has not played since mid-January due to an ankle sprain, elected for surgery and will have been out for between four and six months by the time he returns to the court.

The Bulls man joined his teammates in Los Angeles before Saturday's 112-102 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers, who overturned a 14-point deficit for victory.

Speaking on his personal decision for surgery, LaVine insisted the operation was the best way to progress in his rehabilitation.

"You never want to have surgery," he said. "But I got to a conclusion, especially with what the doctor was telling me, your pain level, this thing isn't going to heal on its own."

Having met up with his Bulls teammates before the Clippers defeat, LaVine sees no issue with settling back into the Chicago group.

"Same way it always has been," he said about the idea of fitting back in with the team. "It's not hard to fit back in, especially with the way I play the game and want to go out there and help."

Lonzo Ball, who has not played since January 2022 because of knee injuries, is also having rehabilitation treatment in Los Angeles.

Chicago coach Billy Donovan suggested Ball is recovering well, saying: "There's a lot of time for where he's at right now to get himself back hopefully where he gets cleared to play 5-on-5 and contact. 

"That's going to be the biggest thing. Whenever he gets to that place."

The Bulls dropped to 31-33 for the season after losing in Los Angeles but LaVine expects Chicago to bounce back.

"I talk to these guys pretty much every day, every game," he added. "It's been great, they've been winning a lot of games, a lot of games that come down to the wire."

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