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Saturday, February 4, 2012
Bulls' Luol Deng starts vs. Bucks

By Nick Friedell
ESPNChicago.com

MILWAUKEE -- Chicago Bulls forward Luol Deng, recovering from a torn wrist ligament, was in the starting lineup for Saturday night's contest against the Milwaukee Bucks.

He scored 21 points and grabbed nine rebounds as the Bulls cruised 113-90.

"I might (play)," Deng said before the morning shootaround. "I might. See how we feel. I'm going to go through shootaround and then go out there, warm up, and see how it feels."

Deng, who tore a ligament in his left wrist two weeks ago in a game against the Charlotte Bobcats, said the wrist is "less sore." He continues to wear a protective wrap but is no longer wearing a brace.

"There isn't much you can do," Deng said of the wrist. "All you can do is ice a lot and then rehab. I've been doing a little bit of rehab, but mostly just trying to get the swelling down as much as I can."

Deng, who prior to the injury was one of the league leaders in minutes played with more than 38 per game, isn't too concerned about getting back into shape.

"It will be a little bit (of an issue) no matter how much you run," he said. "(Practice)is different than game time. But that's something I'm not worried about. I'm just worrying about getting healthy. ... I've never really worried about conditioning. I think if I'm tired, I'll raise my hand and I'll tell him. But that's not what I'm worried about."

Deng admitted that there is still a chance he may decide to have surgery if his wrist is still bothering him.

"If that's the case, that's the case," he said. "'Til I get on the floor and I know how it feels, if I can do it or not, then I'll make that decision."

In another injury-related note, Bulls guard Richard Hamilton (groin/thigh) sat out Saturday's game. It was the fourth game in a row that he's missed.

"Rip, I'm not sure (if he'll play)," Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said before the game. "I'd say unlikely for tonight, but we'll see."

Nick Friedell covers the Bulls for ESPNChicago.com and ESPN 1000.