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Zach LaVine Ruled Out vs. Lakers After Patellar Injury Diagnosed as Strain

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistMarch 12, 2019

Chicago Bulls' Zach LaVine carries the ball past Orlando Magic's Aaron Gordon in their regular-season NBA basketball game in Mexico City, Thursday, Dec. 13, 2018. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)
Rebecca Blackwell/Associated Press

Chicago Bulls swingman Zach LaVine will not play in Tuesday night's game against the Los Angeles Lakers due to a knee injury.

"Zach had a MRI yesterday and confirmed a patellar tendon strain," Bulls coach Jim Boylen announced Tuesday. "He is day-to-day and will be out tonight versus the Lakers."

Durability has not been LaVine's forte of late. He missed time earlier this season with an ankle injury, played just 47 games in 2016-17 because of a torn ACL and was limited to 24 games in 2017-18 as he rehabbed from the ACL setback.

Chicago is firmly in the middle of a rebuild, and LaVine is one of its young go-to options who provides a glimmer of hope for the future. The 24-year-old averaged 16.7 points a night last season and has taken a leap as an offensive force with a career-high 23.8 points, 4.6 rebounds and 4.4 assists per game in 2018-19.

He has been known for his dunking since he entered the league in 2014 but can also stretch the floor with his perimeter shooting.

There is no reason for the Bulls to rush LaVine back given their place in the standings, and they can turn toward the combination of Otto Porter, Shaq Harrison and Antonio Blakeney on the wing while LaVine is sidelined.

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