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Ayo Dosunmu, Andre Drummond out against 76ers

Zach LaVine returned to the Chicago Bulls lineup against the Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday night at the United Center after sitting out his third game of the season, playing the second half of the back-to-back as he continues to recover from arthroscopic surgery on his left knee in the offseason.

LaVine is at least a few weeks away from returning to full strength, but his availability will be key as the Bulls face the first major test of their depth early in the season.

The Bulls played the Sixers without point guards Ayo Dosunmu (pectoral contusion) and Andre Drummond (left shoulder strain). Both players could miss at least one more game, and Dosunmu’s injury poses a longer-term concern.

Dosunmu briefly entered the concussion protocol during Friday’s loss on the road to the San Antonio Spurs after slipping and smashing his head on the knee of Spurs forward Keldon Johnson. Although Dosunmu was cleared to return in the fourth quarter, the hit caused severe soreness and stiffness in his upper back and neck.

“It’s a very tough time in terms of mobility,” Donovan said before the Sixers game.

Drummond faced a similar status after dislocating his shoulder in the third quarter on Friday. The injury occurred when Spurs forward Josh Collins challenged Drummond while driving to the basket, sending the center to the court.

“The way he went down, just the sound of him hitting the floor, he’s a big guy going down like that,” Donovan said. “In the time I’ve been around him, he’s a very tough guy. He is a guy who likes to play. … It doesn’t seem like it’s something the medics are concerned about.”

​​​​​​While both players were able to return against the Spurs, Donovan said the Bulls decided to be careful with players this week, especially if it affects their mobility.

Drummond could be back in “a few days,” but Dosunmu’s return could take longer as he won’t be cleared until his mobility is back to normal.

Chicago Tribune Sports

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“All those guys, Andre, even Zach, those guys want to play,” Donovan said. “But sometimes when you watch them with your own eyes and see that they’re not doing exactly what they normally do, it’s a shame to keep them there.”

Dosunmu and Drummond have been two of the most important players for the Bulls this season. As a backup point guard — who could remain at that position until Lonzo Ball returns — Dosunmu is averaging 12.5 points on 50.8% shooting, 4.7 rebounds and 3.2 assists.


While Drummond isn’t a big scorer — he averages nine points per game — his 10.2 rebounds account for nearly a quarter of the Bulls’ total per game (44.2). Drummond had a season-high 17 points and 14 rebounds against the Spurs on Friday.

Against teams like the Sixers, who boast a dominant center in Joel Embiid, losing Drummond radically changes the Bulls’ approach to offense.

“It always takes a little bit of time, but I’ve seen (Drummond) make a lot of progress and growth in terms of how we play, what we do,” Donovan said. “He’s getting more comfortable playing that way. … It’s probably not as normal for him to be to the extent that he was, but it also generated a lot of good things for him on the rolls and for the other guys on the screening action.”

Without two players, the Bulls are already looking for alternate options at point guard and center.

The upcoming series of games — which will likely include LaVine sitting one more back-to-back this week — will test an already active Bulls bench.


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