CHICAGO — The Chicago Bulls will be without guard Zach LaVine for Saturday night’s game against the Cleveland Cavaliers with a sore left knee, but they will have guard Alex Caruso in the lineup for the first time since undergoing a knee injury. wrist surgery in January.
LaVine has been dealing with knee soreness since January, and it flared up again after Wednesday’s game against the Detroit Pistons. Coby White replaced LaVine in the starting lineup.
Bulls coach Billy Donovan said the team will handle LaVine’s knee on a day-to-day basis for the rest of the season.
“The feeling was to see if we can get him back to ground zero where he feels a little bit better,” Donovan said before the game. “It’s not one of these things that we’ve planned, this is what we’re doing, we’re laying him here on his back. We’re laying him here. It’s going to be day to day.” -day just to see how you feel.”
LaVine will miss his 11th game since injuring his knee in the first quarter of a game against the Warriors on Jan. 12. His post-injury MRI came back clean and he saw a knee specialist in Los Angeles the week before the All-Star. break in February, where he received platelet-rich plasma therapy, a cortisone injection, and fluid drainage from his left knee.
LaVine played in the Bulls’ first seven games after the break, averaging 24.4 points on 48.2% FG (36.7% from 3), which isn’t too far off his production this season of 24.6 points on 48.2% FG (39.5% from 3). ) in 54 games.
“All I’ve gotten from the doctors is that they’re totally comfortable with him playing,” Donovan said. “It’s something he’s going to have to manage and deal with throughout the season.”
The Bulls will get an addition with Caruso returning from the lineup for the first time since breaking his left wrist on Jan. 21. He will be restricted from 24 to 30 minutes, playing just his third game since Dec. 20. Caruso had been Cleared for individual work for the past 10 days and participated in a full practice on Friday.
“[La temporada] it’s been pretty hectic for him,” Donovan said. “It’s been one game here, one game there, he’s been out for a long period of time. So certainly, I think getting it back gives you a jolt. No question about it, but I just don’t know where he is at. He hasn’t played in a long time.”
Caruso, who is playing his 29th game this season, said after Friday’s practice that his wrist will need time to get stronger for the rest of the season, but he hasn’t felt limited by anything on the court.
“It’s still not perfect, it’s not 100 percent healed, but the bone is healed,” Caruso said Friday. “The only soreness and stiffness is just the soft tissue healing from the surgery. I feel like I’m in a good place. We’ll see how it all progresses. If I can keep this up, maybe there are good things to come.”
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Caruso reappears with the Bulls; LaVine, come down