The team announced the surgery was successful and that LaVine is expected to make a full recovery. LaVine, who will become an unrestricted free agent this summer, managed discomfort in his knee for most of the second half of the season, after he landed awkwardly grabbing a rebound against the Golden State Warriors on Jan. 14.
LaVine flew to Los Angeles just before the All-Star break to visit Dr. Neal ElAttrache – who performed LaVine’s ACL surgery in 2017 and Tuesday’s procedure – and received a platelet-rich plasma therapy, a cortisone shot and had fluid drained from his left knee to continue playing the rest of the season. He missed 13 of the team’s final 43 games for maintenance on his knee.
“I have to go into the offseason and figure out how to get back to 100 percent, I played this year not at 100 percent. [I will] figure out the best plan, strategy to get my knee feeling back to normal,” LaVine said on a video conference with reporters following the Bulls first round loss to the Milwaukee Bucks.
“Everybody has to deal with stuff throughout the year, I don’t think anybody is playing at 100 percent. If you want to play, you’re going to do whatever you can.”
LaVine averaged 24.4 points, 4.6 rebounds and 4.5 assists in 67 games this season while shooting 47.6% and 38.9% from 3. He made the All-Star game for the second consecutive season despite laboring through the injury for stretches in the second half.
At his season-ending press conference, Bulls vice president of basketball operations Arturas Karnisovas said he wanted LaVine in Chicago long-term and the status of LaVine’s knee would not affect the team’s interest in re-signing him this summer.
“What he had to go through the second part of the season, we definitely appreciate him being in and battling in every game,” Karnisovas said then. “He’s another one that is going to see doctors and going to get healthy, but I enjoyed again the second year with Zach, two years in-a-row being an All-Star, working with Zach and getting to know him. He has a great relationship with Billy, he has a great support system here with our coaching staff and front office, so I hope he’s here for a long time.”