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He went straight back to the locker room to be evaluated by the Bulls' medical staff, but ended up coming back into the game with 20.8 seconds left to shoot free throws. The veteran shooter knocked down 3 of 4 free throws in the final second to ice the game.
"I felt something pop," Hamilton admitted after the game.
After icing his foot in the locker room, Hamilton limped around as he finished getting dressed. After sitting out of 38 games last season because of various injuries, Hamilton was understandably worried about the diagnosis.
"Just the simple fact that there was nobody around," he said of the play in which the injury occurred. "They always say the worst injuries are when nobody's around and you didn't fall down on nobody's foot or anything like that so it's just one of them things that when it happened it scared me. When I felt it I didn't want to put no pressure on it, but it wasn't a whole lot of pain. That's why it was so freaky to me."
The Bulls listed Hamilton as having a left foot sprain, but Hamilton acknowledged that he didn't know exactly what the injury was.
"I don't know what it is," he said. "We don't know what it is until I get an MRI (Sunday)."
Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau put Hamilton back in the game late so that he could shoot free throws.
"When Rip came back, (trainer) Fred Tedeschi said we could use him if needed," Thibodeau said. "We needed him. I have not talked to them about the injury, we wanted him out there for the free throw situation."
It was a situation that Hamilton felt comfortable in. He wasn't surprised Thibodeau put him back in after having a discussion with his coach.
"He didn't want to put me back in at first," Hamilton said. "And I was like, 'I'm good. As long as my right arm is good, I'm good.' "
Obviously, the Bulls are hoping for the best news possible regarding Hamilton's MRI.
"It doesn't change anything," Deng said of the possibility of having to play without Hamilton for a while. "Rip is a great scorer, we run a lot of sets for him. ... Rip does a good job of finding guys and we just play off of that. When he's not in there we run different sets and we do that in practice and guys are just used to it."
4dEthan Sherwood Strauss
5dMatt Walks, ESPN.com