Billy Donovan was the bearer of bad news before tonight’s matchup between the Bulls and Cavaliers.
According to the head coach, Lonzo Ball nor Zach LaVine will travel on the team’s upcoming three-game road trip due to their respective knee injuries. The Bulls head to Milwaukee on Friday before playing in Orlando on Sunday and Oklahoma City on Monday. Both players will stay behind in Chicago to receive treatment.
In an even more worrisome turn of events, Donovan said that Ball will have to change treatment on what the team now has listed on the injury report as a bone contusion in his left knee. The team provided no timeline on Ball’s return right now, as they will apparently wait to see how he responds to the new treatment.
As for Zach LaVine, his news was a bit less glum, but Donovan still said the All-Star is only doing stationary shooting and has yet to continue running or jumping.
Donovan has previously described Ball’s issue as “a build-up of some joint soreness” that has worsened. The team is trying rest and treatment as the plan for now.
— Darnell Mayberry (@DarnellMayberry) January 19, 2022
Lonzo Ball is changing treatment to address his left knee, per Billy Donovan. Timeline is TBD. It all will depend on his knee responds to this new treatment.
Zach LaVine is back stationary shooting. Not running or jumping. But he feels “better,” per Donovan.
— K.C. Johnson (@KCJHoop) January 19, 2022
One can only hope this extended three-game absence is all both players need to get back on the floor healthy, but I’m not going to sit here and pretend this news leaves me optimistic. What Donovan is sharing here certainly feels more severe than what we were initially led to believe for both players, so we’ll have to see whether or not we get any more positive updates in the coming days.
Fortunately, if the Bulls were going to go through this trouble, pre-All-Star break is the time to do it. But this still puts the team in a very vulnerable position with the Heat now tied at the top of the conference and the Nets a .5-game behind.
At least Caruso is back, right?
Caruso Listed as “Probable” Ahead of Tonight’s Game, Cook Questionable to Returnhttps://t.co/mJ4tZClbRc
— Bleacher Nation Bulls (@BN_Bulls) January 19, 2022