Photo: Chicago Bulls/Twitter

As anticipated, Zach LaVine is set to return on Friday for the Bulls’ home game against the Hornets after missing 17 games due to a right foot injury.

LaVine, confirming the news himself, expressed his excitement and relief to be back on the court. Initially, he and center Nikola Vucevic will be on a minutes restriction, each expecting to play around 25 to 30 minutes.

The Bulls, despite LaVine’s absence, have performed well, winning 10 of 17 games after a 5-14 start. With Vucevic back as well, there’s potential for them to come off the bench, allowing them to ease back into the rotation.

LaVine’s return is noteworthy as he has been a prominent trade candidate this season, and a strong performance could impact his trade value ahead of the February 8 deadline.

However, LaVine is focused on the present, aiming to help the Bulls secure a playoff spot and not letting trade speculations distract him.