The Chicago Bulls announced Wednesday that guard Alex Caruso will be re-evaluated in seven to 10 days after suffering a left foot sprain during the team's 133-118 win over the Houston Rockets two days prior.
Caruso has played a critical role in the Bulls' turnaround, with the team going 19-10 through 29 games after posting a 31-41 record in 2020-21. He has averaged 8.4 points, 4.0 assists and 2.0 steals per contest in 26 games (nine starts).
The 27-year-old signed a four-year, $37 million contract with the Bulls as a free agent last offseason. He played his first four NBA seasons with the Los Angeles Lakers and served a key role in the rotation en route to the team's 2019-20 championship.
The Caruso news comes amid a COVID-19 outbreak among Bulls players that forced the postponement of a pair of games on Dec. 14 and 16 against the Detroit Pistons and Toronto Raptors. Per Rob Schaefer of NBC 5 Chicago, 10 Bulls players entered the league's health and safety protocols between Dec. 1 and 13.
Caruso was not one of them, but he missed two-plus games with a sore hamstring. He returned on Dec. 11 against the Miami Heat.
The former Texas A&M guard then dropped 17 points and nine rebounds against his old team as the Bulls beat the Lakers 115-110 on Sunday. He played six minutes against Houston on Monday before exiting.
Coby White played 32 minutes in Caruso's absence, and he started for him in the second half. He finished with 24 points and five rebounds. The former UNC Tar Heel should see more playing time with Caruso out.
At minimum, Caruso figures to miss a Dec. 26 matchup with the Indiana Pacers and a home-and-home series with the Atlanta Hawks beginning Dec. 27. The Bulls are scheduled to end the calendar year at Indiana on New Year's Eve.
Chicago was scheduled to play Wednesday against the Toronto Raptors, but that game was postponed due to the short-handed Raps having seven players in COVID-19 protocols.