Bulls guard Zach LaVine suffers right ankle injury, out a week

Zach LaVine simply can't catch a break. Seven games after returning from a foot injury that held him out for 17 games, the Chicago Bulls guard is once again on the mend.

On Friday, the Bulls announced that LaVine would miss at least a week after injuring his right ankle in Chicago's 116-110 win over the Toronto Raptors.

The injury occurred in the third quarter of Thursday's game. LaVine immediately knew something was off and took himself out. After doing so, he displayed his frustration by hurling a towel before heading back to the locker room.

Head coach Billy Donovan didn't provide much light on the severity of the injury or exactly when LaVine would be expected back on the floor. He was also unable to say whether the 28-year-old would travel for the Bulls' three-game road trip that starts on Monday.

"I don't know what it's going to end up being," Donovan said via ESPN. "It's going to be how he responds. He certainly has swelling in his ankle. That's pretty clear. Like I said, he's dealt with this before. I don't want to put a timeline on him."

Chicago Bulls guard Zach LaVine (8) in the second half of an NBA basketball game Thursday, Jan. 17, 2019, in Denver. The Nuggets won 135-105. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
Chicago Bulls guard Zach LaVine will once again miss time this season. He sustained an injured right ankle in the Bull game vs. the Toronto Raptors. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski) (ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Chicago has already shown it can play without the 10-year veteran. The Bulls went 10-7 during his absence and fought their way back into the playoff conversation just before the midway point of the season.

The problem with LaVine's injury, from a front-office perspective, is where it puts the team with the trade deadline three weeks away. LaVine's name floated around as a possible player on the move, with him reportedly being interested in landing with the Los Angeles Lakers.

In his return, LaVine was a brand new player on the court. He was averaging 15.6 points, 5.9 rebounds and 5.3 assists. The latter two are the highest rebound and assist averages of his career.

At 21-23, Chicago owns the ninth-best record in the Eastern Conference and would participate in the play-in tournament if the playoffs started today.