LaVine says healed thumb has helped his performance

                                                                                                                                                                                                   
  • The Bulls' Zach LaVine injured his left thumb on Oct. 25 and chose to play through it. On Thursday, he said the injury has essentially healed and the results have been demonstrated on the stat sheet.

    The Bulls' Zach LaVine injured his left thumb on Oct. 25 and chose to play through it. On Thursday, he said the injury has essentially healed and the results have been demonstrated on the stat sheet. Associated Press

 
 
Updated 1/6/2022 6:36 PM

In the Bulls' fourth game of the season on Oct. 25, Zach LaVine suffered a tear to a minor ligament in his left thumb.

That's a common injury in the NBA, but it often requires surgery and a few months on the sideline. LaVine taped it up, kept playing and says it now feels normal.

 

"The thumb's good," he said. "About a week after I took that tape off, it started feeling pretty good. I tore a ligament in my thumb, so it was pretty tough playing with it."

In the first month after the injury, LaVine averaged 25.3 points while shooting 48.1% overall and 37.7% from 3-point range.

Since then, he's at 28.1 points, 51.9% shooting and 47.3% from 3. His assists have also risen from 3.4 to 5.3.

"I just thought I was going to have to deal with it a lot longer," LaVine said. "Luckily, I did the treatment, the training staff did a really good job of staying on top of it. My body healed. Luckily I didn't get hit in that thumb again. I think that was the main thing."

The two games LaVine missed while in health and safety protocols, plus the three games postponed likely helped the thumb return to full strength.

"It's amazing what he did with the injury," Bulls coach Billy Donovan said. "Medical guys did a good job taping it up. He dealt with the pain and discomfort. I think with the first few weeks, it was tough. I think he started to get used to it. "

Injury update:

There was no change in the Bulls' injury report Thursday. Alex Caruso remained in health and safety protocols, while Javonte Green (adductor strain) and Tyler Cook (left ankle sprain) are expected to miss a few weeks. Guard Mac McClung and forward Jordan Bell still have time left on their 10-day contracts.

Twitter: @McGrawDHSports

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