Bulls All-Star Zach LaVine playing through thumb injury
Chicago Bulls guard Zach LaVine Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

Bulls All-Star Zach LaVine playing through small ligament tear in left thumb

The Chicago Bulls began the 2021-22 NBA season as the Eastern Conference's hottest team by winning four consecutive games but have already experienced what could become a worrisome setback. 

The Athletic's Shams Charania reported Wednesday that Bulls All-Star guard Zach LaVine "has a small ligament tear" in his left (non-shooting) thumb. Both Charania and ESPN's Jamal Collier say LaVine intends to play through the issue as long as he can handle the pain during contests.

Collier added that LaVine was already experiencing discomfort before Monday's 111-108 win over the Toronto Raptors that propelled the Bulls to 4-0 on the season. Meanwhile, Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times reports the hope is that LaVine's thumb "heals on its own over the next few weeks," when the team will re-evaluate the injury.

Chicago hosts the 3-1 New York Knicks on Thursday night. 

According to ESPN stats, LaVine leads the unbeaten Bulls in scoring with 25.5 points per game, and he leads all Chicago starters with a player efficiency rating of 24.15. LaVine will enter Thursday night shooting 44.4% from three-point range and 50% from the field. 

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