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Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
Joe Cowley

Still some uncertainty with Bulls forward Javonte Green’s knee

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before.

“He hasn’t done any running or jumping,’’ coach Billy Donovan said when asked about a Bull’s injury status.

And, no, for the first time in almost a year, it wasn’t guard Lonzo Ball he was talking about.

He was referring to forward Javonte Green, who had minor exploratory surgery two weeks ago on his right knee and is still on the road back. The length of that journey was still up in the air, especially after the latest update from Donovan.

“All of it, I think, has been to regain his strength and weight-room stuff, whatever mobility things they have him doing,’’ Donovan said. “I’ll probably get a better idea of where he’s at physically once they say he can get on the court and start moving around a little bit, but he has not been able to do any of that.’’

Even when Green returns, it’s unlikely that he’ll be back in the starting lineup.

In early December, after an embarrassing showing in Phoenix, Green took over Patrick Williams’ starting spot, and Williams was moved to the second unit. That look was little more than a glance, however, as Green started at Golden State the next game and had the knee issues in the wake of that loss.

He was in and out of games after that but never as a starter because of the knee problems and a minutes restriction.

That starting ship may have sailed.

“It’s hard to say what it will be like going forward once [Green] gets healthy and begins playing because you have to see where he’s at,’’ Donovan said. “I just felt the way we were playing at that point in the season, we needed to look at something a little different.

“Patrick’s done a great job, and I don’t think it’s necessarily even making that change. It wasn’t necessarily about Patrick. It was: How do we kind of pair these groupings of five together where maybe we can get off to a better start?’’

Home alone

Guard Goran Dragic, who missed the game against the Hawks and didn’t travel with the team for the Pacers game, is dealing with a non-COVID illness.

The hope for Dragic is that he starts to feel better in the next few days and can join the team at some point on the three-city trip.

“With the trip we had overseas and coming back, the amount of people he’s around, just trying to keep him separate from the team so it doesn’t spread,’’ Donovan said.

Dragic is averaging 7.2 points and 2.8 assists off the bench.

Loaded up

Donovan said the medical staff was still monitoring guard Zach LaVine’s left knee for back-to-back games, but LaVine sounded like the load-management schedule from the start of the season was long gone.

“I’m more than fine,’’ LaVine said. “I’ve played every game since the beginning of the season, so I’ve played just as many games, pretty much, as anyone on the team.’’

The last back-to-back that LaVine sat out was in November, when he missed the first game of the two. He hasn’t missed a game since.

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