NBA Roundtable

Untimely Injury To Deng

In General NBA on March 20, 2010 at 11:33 am

The Chicago Tribune reports

About an hour before tip-off of Friday night’s game against the Cleveland Cavaliers at the United Center, I asked coach Vinny Del Negro if it was safe to assume Luol Deng was out for Saturday’s game at Philadelphia.

That’s when Del Negro dropped the news that Deng won’t be playing any time soon — if at all the remainder of this season.

“Luol is gonna be out two to three weeks probably,” Del Negro said. “Luol’s gonna be out a while.”

The article continues

“[Deng] tried to warm up a little bit against Dallas,” Del Negro said. “He was feeling better every day and thought he was getting close and then he started doing some straight ahead jogging and it really swelled up on him, so it’s gonna be two or three weeks. Hopefully, two, but he has more inflammation now than he had before, so that’s a setback. He’s definitely gonna be out for a little bit.”

If Deng is sidelined three weeks, that means he could return for the final five days of the regular season. But it’s just as likely he’ll miss the rest of the regular season.

Terrible news for the Bulls. This injury to Luol Deng combined with the Joakim Noah injury and the losses of Tyrus Thomas and John Salmons to mid-season trades makes it overwhelmingly likely that the Bulls miss the playoffs this season.

This is excellent news for the Raptors postseason hopes because it looks like they’ll be the last team standing … even if they limp their way into the playoffs.

Oh, one last note, good opportunity for Joe Alexander + James Johnson to get extended playing time during a playoff push. It’ll be a good opportunity for us to get a glimpse of what they’re capable of.

  1. Quick update on Deng’s status

    Coach Vinny Del Negro was purposely vague on the return of forward Luol Deng, who missed his 11th consecutive game since suffering a right calf strain March 11.

    Deng began running on a treadmill Tuesday and is ”feeling a little bit better,” Del Negro said. But he would not venture a guess on when the 6-9 forward would play again.

    ”I don’t want to say day-to-day; I don’t want to say a week,” Del Negro said. ”He’s got a little bit more time before he [comes back]. There’s no target date. It’s going to be how his leg reacts with the conditioning, running, cutting and moving. If it doesn’t tighten up, we’ll get him out there. If it does, we’ll have to slow the process down.”

    So, no real idea on when Deng is likely to return to the Bulls.

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