Bulls Guard Zach LaVine Faces Extended Absence After Electing Foot Surgery

Chicago Bulls guard Zach LaVine is set to undergo surgery on his right foot next week, sidelining him for a four to six-month period. The decision for the procedure was made collaboratively with LaVine and his agency, Klutch Sports Group, following consultations with various medical experts.

Bulls coach Billy Donovan clarified that the choice to undergo surgery was ultimately LaVine’s, emphasizing that the star player had earnestly attempted rehabilitation in a bid to return to the court. Despite recovering from a right ankle sprain suffered on January 18, LaVine experienced ongoing discomfort in his foot, leading to his extended absence. This recurring issue had previously caused him to miss 17 games earlier in the season.

Donovan had initially anticipated LaVine’s return after another week, as mentioned in Friday’s practice. However, the decision to opt for surgery indicates the player’s prioritization of long-term health over a hasty return to the game.

The 2023-24 season for LaVine concludes abruptly after just 25 games (23 starts), where he averaged 19.5 points on 45.2% shooting, along with 5.2 rebounds and 3.9 assists. This marks his lowest scoring output since the 2017-18 season when he played 24 games after recovering from ACL surgery.

Despite being a key figure in trade discussions leading up to the approaching deadline, Donovan noted that discussions with Bulls management regarding the impact of LaVine’s injury on the team’s future had not taken place. The Bulls, currently in ninth place in the Eastern Conference standings, will have to navigate the remainder of the season without LaVine, who has been absent for double-digit games in three of the last four seasons.