Things are not going well for the Chicago Bulls on the injury front. As you may remember, they lost Derrick Jones Jr. to injury in their defeat to the Brooklyn Nets. It was a non-contact injury that occured due to an awkward landing while he made a play for the ball.
The injury was eventually diagnosed as a bone bruise, which will cause him to miss around a month of action, according to Shams Charania. That in itself could already be considered a stroke of luck, because the way his knee buckled during his landing looked like it could have resulted in a much graver injury.
Unfortunately for the Bulls, their luck didn’t get much better, as in their game against the Warriors, Zach LaVine was also forced out of the game in the first quarter to another knee injury.
There is initial optimism that it wasn’t a knee injury, as LaVine was able to leave the court on his own, but it’s obviously concerning to a Bulls team that, after recovering from a Covid-19 outbreak, now sees itself missing quite a number of players due to injury. He’s apparently already been playing through some discomfort, and perhaps was listening to his body when he felt something was off. For a Bulls team that could be in the title hunt, a big of pragmatism is more important.
LaVine’s absence definitely affected the Bulls, who suffered a second-straight blowout loss. This time, it was a 138-96 defeat at the hands of the Golden State Warriors.
The Bulls’ injury list currently looks like this:
- Zach LaVine: To undergo an MRI after his knee injury.
- Alex Caruso: Expected to return from foot injury against the Cavaliers.
- Derrick Jones Jr: Out 2-6 weeks (depending on source), with right knee bone bruise.
- Javonte Green: Out with a groin strain.
- Tyler Cook: Ankle injury.
- Patrick Williams: Out for a few months after torn ligaments on his left wrist suffered in October 2021.
It sucks to see, especially because the Bulls were building a great amount of momentum and are still on top of the Eastern Conference. It’s a tight contest right now, with 3.5 games separating first and sixth place, so every win matters until the end of the season.
Both the Western and Eastern Conferences have been hyper-competitive, and the 2021-22 season has been, at least to me, the most enjoyable season to watch in many years. I hope that all of the contenders get healthy and whole.