The Chicago Bulls announced they will be without wing DeMar DeRozan for the rest of Monday's game against the Boston Celtics because of a right quadriceps strain.
The 33-year-old was largely healthy last season. He missed three games in December after being placed in the league's health and safety protocols, and a strained left adductor cost him a game in March. He has not missed a game this season.
"DeMar knows his body better than anybody else. I think he felt like, 'OK, this could get into something else a little bit more significant if I don't take care of this,'" head coach Billy Donovan told reporters at the time. "That's why they wanted to do the imaging and they found out it's a mild strain really all it is right now. We just don't want it to turn into something bigger."
In 76 games last season, DeRozan averaged 27.9 points, 5.2 rebounds and 4.9 assists per game, shooting 50.4 percent from the field and 35.2 percent from three.
The USC alum was excellent, keeping his name in the MVP running for much of the 2021-22 campaign. While the maestro of the mid-range didn't win the award over Nikola Jokić, his resurgence after a few ho-hum seasons with the San Antonio Spurs was a huge factor in the Bulls' morphing into a playoff team last year.
Keeping DeRozan healthy for this season is key. If he misses significant time, it will put additional pressure on Zach LaVine and Nikola Vučević to carry the offense.
Look for Patrick Williams and Ayo Dosunmu to take on more offensive responsibility as well if DeRozan is sidelined.