Bulls' Wendell Carter Jr. Will Miss 4-6 Weeks with 'Severe' Ankle Injury

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistJanuary 9, 2020

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - JANUARY 04: Wendell Carter Jr. #34 of the Chicago Bulls plays during the second half  against the Boston Celtics at United Center on January 04, 2020 in Chicago, Illinois. 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 Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images)
Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images

The Chicago Bulls announced center Wendell Carter Jr. will miss four-to-six weeks after he was diagnosed with a "severe" ankle sprain, according to NBC Sports Chicago's K.C. Johnson

The second-year player suffered the injury in Monday's loss to the Dallas Mavericks and missed Wednesday's game, but the team later confirmed the issue will keep him off the court for an extended stretch.

Carter has been one of the more reliable players in the Bulls rotation this season, averaging 11.7 points and a team-high 9.9 rebounds per game.

With 17 double-doubles in 37 starts, the 20-year-old is proving he can be a key part of the team's young core alongside Zach LaVine and Lauri Markkanen.

However, injuries have been an issue early in his career after a torn thumb ligament limited his rookie season to just 44 games. He also dealt with a core muscle injury over the summer.

He appeared especially bothered by the latest issue as he gets set to miss more time.

"While I was laying down on the ground, I’m like, 'Man, this is the exact moment I was hurt last year.' And it affected a lot of stuff for myself and my team," Carter said after Monday's game, per Johnson. "I just pray to God I can come back sooner. My goal is to come back no later than the end of this month. That’s what I’m looking forward to right now."

Chicago will likely stay patient with the young player, especially with a 13-25 record likely putting the team outside of playoff contention. 

Thaddeus Young and Daniel Gafford should see increased playing time while Carter is unavailable.