After shockingly ending up on the injury report as “questionable” on Tuesday, Zach LaVine will reportedly miss tonight’s season opener in Miami.
The Athletic’s Shams Charania has also shared that LaVine’s availability for Friday’s game is in jeopardy (however, that makes more sense considering the Bulls will play a back-to-back set).
The news comes after practically zero indication that LaVine had suffered any issues during training camp or the preseason. If anything, the recently maxed player had spoken positively about his health and post-surgery timeline. He even told reporters just earlier this week that he used the past several weeks to get into game shape and felt “really good.”
According to the man himself, he still seems to feel this way. LaVine told The Chicago Tribune’s Julia Poe that this decision isn’t about feeling any specific pain in his knee, but that this kind of load management could be expected throughout the rest of the season.
Look, I’m all for taking it slow with LaVine. But the team gave no prior indication that this is what was needed. More importantly, if injury management was always in the cards, why the heck did the man play three preseason games as opposed to the start of the regular season? I understand ramping up is important … but at the expense of instead missing the games that actually matter?
Ugh, what an extremely confusing and concerning way to start a new season.