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Zach LaVine in health and safety protocols, out for Game 5 vs. Bucks

The Bulls SG will be sidelined vs. Bucks after entering the league’s COVID protocols.

Milwaukee Bucks v Chicago Bulls - Game Four
Zach LaVine of the Chicago Bulls drives to the basket past Grayson Allen of the Milwaukee Bucks during Game Four of the Eastern Conference First Round Playoffs at the United Center on April 24, 2022 in Chicago, Illinois.
Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

April 27 update: LaVine has formally been ruled out for Wednesday’s Game 5 against the Bucks. Alex Caruso is also out, compounding the issue for the Bulls. Look for Coby White and Ayo Dosunmu to get extended minutes here as Chicago hopes to extend this series.

The Chicago Bulls have placed Zach LaVine in the league’s health and safety protocols, likely ruling him out for Wednesday’s game against the Milwaukee Bucks. The Bulls are down 3-1 to the defending champions and could be without their star shooting guard in the elimination game.

The Bulls had some COVID issues at the beginning of this series with their assistant coaches, but virus concerns hadn’t spread to the players at that point. Chicago had major COVID issues during the Omicron surge this winter, but the Bulls have been able to avoid the protocols since then.

It’s a tough break for LaVine, who found himself in protocols last season as well. That stint likely prevented the Bulls from competing for a play-in berth. This time around, the Bulls are likely to be eliminated, especially if LaVine cannot go. It is unclear at this point whether LaVine is a close contact or tested positive for the virus, but he’d had to return two negative tests 24 hours apart to play in the game. Given the contest is Wednesday evening, it’s hard to see him clearing protocols at this point.