The Chicago Bulls have been dealing with injury problems all season long. As the end of the season draws nearer, they are beginning to pile up. Approaching Monday’s game against the Knicks, there are currently seven Bulls’ players sidelined with an injury. Four of these players have been shut down for the season, and it is likely that the others will follow suit. Possibly a result of Jim Boylen’s rigorous training and conditioning, as well as younger players adapting to the longer seasons, this has been a season guaranteed to keep the Chicago medical staff on their toes.
Chicago Bulls Injuries Beginning to Pile Up
Denzel Valentine has not played at all this season, owing to a left ankle injury. He underwent ankle stabilization surgery on the 29th of November, putting him out for the rest of the season. This was a significant blow to Chicago. They missed his outside shooting and his presence off the bench.
After a fairly promising rookie campaign, 22nd pick Chandler Hutchison suffered a broken toe on the 23rd of January. After multiple scans and rehab, the Bulls announced they were shutting down Hutchison on the 24th of May. At around 20 minutes a game, Hutchison was posting 5.2 points, 4.2 rebounds and 0.8 assists per game before his injury.
Wendell Carter Jr.
The injury suffered by Wendell Carter Jr. was a blow to Bulls fans. The 2018 lottery pick had been more than exceeding expectations on court up to this point. He sustained the left thumb injury on the 15th of January in a game against the Lakers. This required surgery, putting him out for 12 weeks and the rest of the season. Carter Jr. had been averaging 10.3 points, 7 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.3 blocks per game.
Lauri Markkanen had a late start to this season, missing the first 23 games with a right elbow sprain. Once he was back, he picked up where he left off last year, having a mostly solid season. This included a hot streak in February which saw him post 25.7 points, 12.1 rebounds with 2.4 three-pointers. After undergoing testing on March 26 to determine the cause of rapid heart rate, the Bulls announced on the 28th that Markkanen had contracted extreme fatigue, and would be shut down for the remainder of the season.
Kris Dunn is another player who has had extended time out due to injury. At the start of this season, he was already dealing with a sprained MCL, as well as back injuries. Dunn will miss the Bulls Saturday night game against the Philadelphia 76ers with a lower back injury, making it the sixth straight game he has missed due to this injury.
Otto Porter Jr.
Joining the Bulls shortly after the All-Star break, Otto Porter Jr. provided a spark to the Bulls. They won five out of six games between February 14th and March 2nd. Porter is currently dealing with a shoulder injury that has kept him out of seven straight games. With only five games left on the Bull’s schedule, it is likely they will sit him for the rest of the season.
While having a breakout season, Zach LaVine has experienced a number of leg injuries, that have seen him miss playing time. He is currently experiencing a right thigh injury, having missed six straight games. Again, it would be smart for Chicago to shut him down for the rest of the season, in order to not further injure him in what are fairly pointless games.
Chicago may have a large number of injured players, but this could also prove helpful. Sitting key players is almost always going to lead to more losses. Hopefully, this will then lead to a raised draft position. It will also give these players a long time to rehabilitate and get healthy. If their players can regain their health over the off-season, and they can gain a high draft pick, the Chicago Bulls could prove to be a team to watch out for in the coming seasons.
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