Bulls' Richard Hamilton Sounds Like He's Going to Be out Awhile Longer

Holly MacKenzieNBA Lead BloggerMarch 20, 2012

CHICAGO, IL - MARCH 05:  Richard Hamilton #32 of the Chicago Bulls reatcs after suffering a shoulder injury against Indiana Pacers at the United Center on March 5, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bulls defeated the Pacers 92-72. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The Bulls are trying to be patient.

Without Derrick Rose for its last four contests as he tries to recover from a groin injury, Chicago is just trying to bide its time until everyone gets healthy. Unfortunately, it sounds like that's going to be awhile.

K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune reports that Hamilton has only recently been able to raise his right arm above his shoulder and that there is no timetable set for his return. 

This is really disappointing news.

After playing in only 16 games this season, Hamilton injured his right shoulder when he ran into Roy Hibbert on March 5th. From the sounds of the quotes he gave Johnson, the postseason might be his target return.

"My biggest thing is getting out there for the playoffs," Hamilton said. "I know how the playoffs are. You never want to be in a situation where you start playing right when the playoffs start. You want a full head of steam going into it. That’s why I want to get out there."

Already without Rose, the Bulls need to work on limiting Luol Deng's minutes (a plan that isn't going so well, considering he logged more than 43 minutes in a 26-point victory against Orlando last night), as well as get Hamilton integrated into the system and familiarized with his teammates. 

Tom Thibodeau became the quickest coach to pick up 100 victories in Chicago's victory against the Magic last night, but he's also one of the quickest coaches in the league to play his starters huge minutes without thinking about the future consequences of those minutes. 

It's clear Hamilton isn't planning on being back in the lineup in the near future after he told Johnson he has only recently been able to raise his right arm above his head. In the meantime, Chicago needs to continue to try to weather the storm without Rose (John Lucas III has filled in admirably in Rose's absence), while figuring out ways to get Deng enough rest to enable him to keep playing through his wrist injury.

This shortened schedule doesn't leave much time for rest of any kind, but with Hamilton remaining sidelined they need to figure it out or risk losing other players as a result.

Looking for some positivity? There doesn't appear to be any where Hamilton is concerned.