Bulls have been plagued by injuries early, but still remain at the the top of the NBA. They comfortably sit at 18-5 and while it’s reported that doctors have made surgery an option, Deng will not go under the knife and his status remains day to day.
Deng’s return is vital to the Bulls' success, however, it’s important he lets this injury heal and waits until he’s fully healthy. The Bulls have enough depth to win games, but they need Deng at full strength if they make it to the playoffs.
Deng consistently plays more minutes than anybody on the team (38.3). He’s a key piece for the Bulls, effective at several positions. The team’s best one-on-one defender, Deng’s health is of the utmost importance for the Bulls and their quest for the Larry O’Brien trophy.
But the Bulls have more than enough defensive ammo in Taj Gibson, Ronnie Brewer and Omer Asik to withstand his absence.
“[Deng’s] a complete player, brings a lot to the team, but like I said, the versatility of our roster, we feel good,’’ Tom Thibodeau told the Chicago Sun-Times. “We feel like we have more than enough to win with. We’re of course disappointed that he’s injured for him because he’s put so much work into it, but yet you still know that the guys filling in are more than capable.’’
Yes, the Bulls need Deng, but they also need him to rest. Deng’s minutes are always an issue. This year he’s already played nine games where he’s exceeded 40 minutes. Deng is the Bulls' workhorse; you can’t drive him too hard not even halfway into the season.
Deng is not new to this type of injury. It happened to his shooting wrist when he was a rookie in 2004-5.
After 61 games, he was out for the rest of the season. Should the Bulls risk losing Deng again, this time when the Bulls are in contention? That’s one scary thought.
Doctors have reportedly said that the injury can’t get any worse by playing on it. Then why is he out? There was talk that he would be in for the Miami Heat game, but that didn't happen. If the injury can’t get any worse, why can can't he play?
The reason is Deng’s in pain. He’s been playing too much and needs to rest his battle wounds. I don’t care if he can't return until the playoffs, his importance lies in his ability to play high tempo and that won’t happen unless he’s healthy. Whether he needs surgery or just time to heal is up to the doctors, but Deng should not play though his torn ligament.
In a report by Nick Friedell John Lucas III said,
I just want him to get healthy. He's a big part of our team. Everybody on our team is a huge part of our team. But I just want him to get healthy. I know he's a hard worker. He doesn't like to sit out games. When he comes back I just want him to be healthy. We told him, "We'll hold it down, like we've been doing all year."