Bulls' LaVine to miss season opener vs. Heat

by Gordon Dixon - Bulls star Zach LaVine will miss Chicago's regular-season opener Wednesday night against the Miami Heat in an effort to load-manage the left knee he had scoped back in May.

Bulls' Zach LaVine (knee) to miss season opener vs. Heat 1:31 PM ET Jamal CollierESPN Chicago Bulls guard Zach LaVine will miss the team's regular-season opener against the Miami Heat on Wednesday night with left knee injury management, according to Bulls public relations. LaVine told reporters after shootaround on Wednesday morning in Miami that his absence was not tied to a setback but rather load management for his knee. He was not sure of his status for Friday's game against the Washington Wizards , the front end of a back-to-back before the team's home opener against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Saturday. Editor's Picks Bulls to lean on Dosunmu during Ball's absence 6d Jamal Collier 2 Related LaVine, who signed a five-year, $215 million max contract this past offseason, played through lingering soreness in his knee during the second half of the 2021-22 season before undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery in May. However, he and the Bulls have continually expressed confidence in his health from the start of training camp, and LaVine played in the team's first three preseason games, averaging 21.8 minutes per game before sitting out the finale. As recently as after practice Friday, LaVine once again reiterated confidence in his health exiting the preseason. "I just feel good," he said then. "I think that's been the main thing is not having any aches and pains and being able to go out there and really play without limitations in my own mind. ... I'm just happy I feel better." LaVine has made the All-Star team the past two seasons and averaged 24.4 points on 47.6% shooting in 67 games last season. The Bulls are already without point guard Lonzo Ball to begin the season while he recovers from knee surgery near the start of training camp.