Bulls' LaVine, White resting injuries against Pacers

  • Bulls guard Zach LaVine has been dealing with back spasms and a sore knee. There was a mututal decision that he sit out Friday's game at Indiana.

    Bulls guard Zach LaVine has been dealing with back spasms and a sore knee. There was a mututal decision that he sit out Friday's game at Indiana. Associated Press

Updated 2/4/2022 5:46 PM

Zach LaVine will not play Friday when the Bulls play the second leg of back-to-back games at Indiana.

LaVine was listed as questionable with mid-back spasms on Thursday. He played 42 minutes in the Bulls' overtime loss at Toronto and after the game admitted to reporters he's playing through pain. He also missed five games last month with a sore knee.


Before facing the Pacers, Bulls coach Billy Donovan was asked if the team had to talk LaVine into sitting out.

"No, it wasn't really talking him into anything," Donovan said. "He's dealing with his back, it's been a problem, it was a problem (Thursday) night. I do think with the number of games and him coming off of dealing with his knee being sore and the back, it just made sense to have him out tonight.

"I think he's physically in agreement with that. I think he agrees that right now with where he is at physically, that he needs a day here."

The Bulls will get a day off, but have another set of back-to-back games right after. They'll host Philadelphia on Sunday afternoon and Phoenix on Monday. Donovan felt optimistic LaVine could be back on the court against the 76ers.

"That's certainly the hope," Donovan said. "He wants to play. I think it eats him up a little bit mentally when he can't get out there, especially when you have a tough game in overtime. If he can play, he's going to play, but I don't want to jump to any conclusions until we see how he's feeling tomorrow."

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Donovan said guard Coby White would be a game-time decision with a right adductor strain, but it was later announced that White would not play.

"He was pretty sore after that game, got some treatment this morning," Donovan said. "From what I gather, he'd been dealing with a little bit of discomfort there and then (Thursday) it flared up a little bit more.

"It had been something that was maybe lingering, it's just I think the pain's gotten a little bit more -- I don't want to say severe -- but certainly the pain's increased."

Thursday's game in Toronto began a stretch of seven games in 10 days for the Bulls. LaVine talked about dealing with the hectic schedule.

"It's part of basketball," LaVine said. "Every team goes through it, these tough stretches with a bunch of games. It's tough right now, we've got a lot of guys out, that's why I think we have to band together and play really hard, play really good basketball. Nobody's going to look down on us. We'll get through it."

Twitter: @McGrawDHSports


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