AP Photo/Morry Gash
Chicago Bulls star guard Zach LaVine will reportedly undergo a scope procedure on his left knee but is expected to make a full recovery in time for the 2022-23 season, per Chams Sharania of The Athletic and Stadium.
Shams Charania @ShamsCharania
Bulls All-Star Zach LaVine to undergo scope procedure on left knee in the coming weeks, sources say. Details: pic.twitter.com/lViTnR8nVu
The 27-year-old had an excellent 2021-22 season, averaging 24.4 points, 4.6 rebounds and 4.6 assists in 67 games while shooting 47.6 percent from the field and 38.9 percent from three. He was also named to his second All-Star team.
However, LaVine landed in the league’s health and safety protocols twice during the season, including ahead of the team’s Game 5 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs, which ended Chicago’s season. It was the third time in a 12-month span he found himself in those protocols.
The UCLA product also dealt with a left knee injury for much of the season, with previous reports indicating he would require offseason surgery once Chicago’s season concluded, which it did in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs.
It was an odd year for the Bulls, which looked like one of the NBA’s best teams into late February, starting 39-21. But they promptly lost 15 of their final 22 games and dropped from the top seed in the Eastern Conference to the No. 6 seed.
Still, ending a four-year playoff drought was a big deal. The hope for the Bulls is that a core of LaVine, DeMar DeRozan and Nikola Vucevic can end a seven-year drought without a postseason series win in the upcoming 2022-23 campaign.
Keeping LaVine healthy will be a crucial factor in that goal.