Literal seconds after I expressed concern about Javonte Green in our latest injury update post, the Chicago Bulls made an announcement.
According to the team, Javonte Green will undergo an arthroscopic debridement surgery on his right knee. The procedure will take place on Wednesday and Green will be re-evaluated in two weeks.
While the surgery is considered somewhat minor, this isn’t easy news to stomach after what we’ve experienced with Lonzo Ball and even Zach LaVine to start the year. Bulls fans have seen firsthand how problematic lingering knee soreness can become, which is exactly what has caused Green to miss 10 of the team’s last 13 games.
Also, let’s remember that a re-evaluation does not suggest a return to play. My guess is that Green will be sidelined from pretty much all basketball activities until those two weeks are up. Then, if things are looking ok, he’ll continue his rehab with a greater emphasis on returning to the court.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski is already reporting that the Bulls are “optimistic” that Green will return to the rotation in one month’s time. If that is the more specific timeline we are working with, this would mean Green misses roughly another 15 games.
While the Bulls have been able to put together an impressive winning stretch recently with Green mostly out of the equation, there is still no doubt that this is a pretty frustrating loss. Not only had Green been among the NBA’s deflection leaders while healthy, but his transition skills and endless off-ball hustle in the halfcourt were extremely helpful tools to have off the bench.
Not to mention, having started 45 games last season, Green is one of the most experienced role players on this roster. He has extensive knowledge of playing alongside the Bulls stars, and it’s allowed Donovan to lean him a little extra at times.
Lastly, this certainly feels like something we’ll have to keep in mind as the deadline looms. If the Bulls become wary of Green’s ability to contribute at a high level upon his return, it could only give them more of a reason to seek out mid-season additions. We also can’t forget that Green is in the thick of a contract year. If the Bulls were at all skeptical of trying to re-sign him this summer (which I don’t believe they were), they could have been considering using him in a trade in the coming weeks. With the knee now clearly an issue, doing that could be a lot harder.