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Jimmy Butler Injury Update: Bulls Star Ruled Out of 2016 NBA All-Star Game

Chicago Bulls guard Jimmy Butler waves to fans as they applaud him while Butler is taken off the court after being injured late in the first half of his team's NBA basketball game against the Denver Nuggets on Friday, Feb. 5, 2016, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
Associated Press
Joseph ZuckerFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 10, 2017

The Chicago Bulls announced Tuesday that Jimmy Butler will be out three to four weeks while recovering from the knee injury he suffered Feb. 5.

As a result, Butler will miss Sunday's NBA All-Star Game. Pau Gasol will replace Butler in the contest, per Sean Highkin of Bleacher Report.

Far more important than who replaces Butler is the fact that the Bulls now have a timetable for how long they could be without their leading scorer. Whereas this was once Derrick Rose's team, Butler is now the unquestioned leader.

He's also one of the best 2-guards in the league, per ESPN Stats & Info:

Chicago is only a game-and-a-half ahead of the Charlotte Hornets, who are ninth in the Eastern Conference, and only four games separate the Bulls from the Orlando Magic and Washington Wizards, the 10th and 11th seeds.

The Bulls could easily slip out of the top eight during Butler's absence. In their first two games since his injury, they lost to the Hornets and Minnesota Timberwolves.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver doesn't have an enviable task ahead as he fills out the East roster for the All-Star Game, but Bulls head coach Fred Hoiberg is in a much tougher position as he looks ahead to the next month with his best player out of action.

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