Chicago Bulls SF Luol Deng Has Torn Ligament in Left Wrist

Bob Bajek@bobbajekAnalyst IIIJanuary 24, 2012

ESPN Chicago's Nick Friedell is reporting that Chicago Bulls small forward Luol Deng's left wrist injury is pretty severe. Here is what Friedell tweeted minutes ago on his account:

Deng has torn ligament in wrist. Won't have surgery right now. Still possible. Thibs says he's "week to week" now

Deng hurt his wrist against the Charlotte Bobcats on Saturday and sat out against the New Jersey Nets. The injury was originally listed as a sprained wrist, but coach Tom Thibodeau hinted Monday that the injury was worse.

Friedell also said that Deng told him he will try to play through the pain, but Thibodeau admitted Deng would be out for awhile.

This comes as a blow to the Bulls, as they are losing their second-best player in Deng. He was having an All-Star caliber season by averaging 15.9 points, 7.5 rebounds and 2.6 assists a game.

Besides his scoring, Deng is an excellent defender who came in 10th place in last year's Defensive Player of the Year voting, which Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard won for a third consecutive time.

Without Deng in the rotation, more pressure will be on backups Ronnie Brewer and Jimmy Butler to perform. Brewer has improved his offensive game by averaging 7.2 points a night while scoring 11 or more points in six games.

Butler, a rookie swingman who balled at Marquette, has seen limited minutes with the Bulls but should have more playing time in Deng's absence.

For the Bulls to win an NBA championship this year, Deng needs to be healthy. Chicago might lose some games with Deng recovering, but they need him 100 percent come playoff time.

 

Bob Bajek is a Featured Columnist for the Chicago Bulls. He is also a freelance reporter and can be followed at Patch.com and Twitter.

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