Thursday will mark two weeks since the news dropped that Zach LaVine would enter the NBA’s Health and Safety Protocols. He has so far missed seven games, and we’ve now gotten word that number will be pushed to at least 10.
On Wednesday evening, head coach Billy Donovan told reporters that while the team is optimistic about getting a better idea of LaVine’s situation soon, it won’t happen until after this week.
We’re hopeful that this is probably going to take another week. It’s our best guess. There will be things that he has to do going into this week that are set by the league in terms of their policies and protocols. I would say that we will probably have a much much better idea of when his return will be probably after this week is completed.
All things considered, this is still the most encouraging update we’ve gotten about LaVine’s status, but it remains frustrating that no clearer timeline can be provided.
One would hope that what Donovan is alluding to is that LaVine can return sometime next week instead of just resuming basketball activity. However, we have to keep in mind that two-plus weeks off the court is a significant amount of time for professional athletes. The medical staff will have to ensure that his conditioning is up to par before he returns to the floor, and that process could take some extra time. So, unless something changes (which is always possible), LaVine is looking like he could make a return with eight or fewer games remaining.
Meanwhile, Donovan also provided a short update on Troy Brown Jr., who has missed the team’s last four games with an ankle injury.
Troy Brown Jr. hasn't done sprinting or sharp cutting yet, Billy Donovan says. The swelling in his ankle has gone down but he's still rehabbing. Goal is still for him to return "sooner than later," Donovan says.
— Cody Westerlund (@CodyWesterlund) April 28, 2021
I like sooner more than later.