Luol Deng unlikely to play vs. Miami
CHICAGO -- Luol Deng said on the Bulls.com pregame show that he thinks he will be out another week, at least, which makes him unlikely to play Sunday at Miami.
Deng, who has a torn ligament in his left wrist, reported the news to radio broadcaster Chuck Swirsky.
"It's a day by day thing," Deng told BullsTV. "I would say a week or more. It's hard to tell. It's definitely a bad injury, but I really believe I'll be back soon. I'm doing everything I can right now just to make sure that I'm back soon enough."
It had been rumored that Deng was shooting to start Sunday for the team's much-awaited matchup against the Heat.
"I really don't know where that came from," Deng said. "If I was able to go today I would. If I'm able to go on Sunday I'll go. ... I don't know where that exact date came from. I've never put an exact date on it. I just know that I gotta do whatever I can. The fact that I'm avoiding surgery, I gotta make sure that I rehab and get this down, so it doesn't keep coming back. I don't want it to be a [recurring] problem all year where I play a few games and take time off. That's what we're really trying to avoid right now."
Deng injured his wrist in the fourth quarter of the Bulls' win over the Charlotte Bobcats on Saturday night. Upon the initial diagnosis, Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau classified the injury as "week to week." The team has since sounded more optimistic about Deng making a speedy recovery.
"Everyday I've been taking steps," Deng said. "When it first happened ... I had a hard time doing anything. ... I'm able to dribble a little bit now out on the court. It's really improving at a very fast rate, that's really what we want. Hopefully I'm out there soon. It's tough sitting down. I don't want to do that and hopefully I don't do that for long."
"It's all part of it," Thibodeau said. "Even in the regular NBA season, there's going to be injuries and you have to deal with them accordingly. Everyone's faced with the same challenges."
Jon Greenberg and Nick Friedell contributed to this report.