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Friday, May 4, 2012
Luol Deng to play in Olympics

By Nick Friedell
ESPNChicago.com

PHILADELPHIA -- Chicago Bulls forward Luol Deng has stated all season that he is going to represent Great Britain in the London Olympics this summer, and that hasn't changed despite the fact teammate Derrick Rose tore his left ACL and may have to miss a large chunk of next season.

Deng, who has a torn ligament in his left wrist, also may need surgery, and that could put the Bulls down two key players to start next season. "I'm definitely playing in the Olympics," Deng reiterated to ESPNChicago.com Friday morning.

Deng tore the ligament Jan. 18 and has been hampered by the injury throughout the year, but he's said all along that he would put off surgery -- if it's needed -- until after the London Games.

Deng also has consistently noted that there is still a chance he may not have to have the surgery at all, and the injury could heal on its own. He has been wearing a pad and tape on the wrist most of the season to try to protect it during games.

The Bulls, who enter Game 3 of the Eastern Conference quartefinals Friday tied with the Philadelphia 76ers, plan to sit down with Deng after the season to determine if surgery is necessary.

If Deng were to have the surgery, he likely would have to be out three to four months, which would mean that he and Rose would miss at least the first part of next season.

Deng said he would sit down with his doctors after the Olympics and make a final call on surgery.

"It's going to be my decision," he said. "How I feel."

As part of the league's CBA, teams aren't allowed to tell players whether they can participate in the Olympics. While Deng will listen to Bulls' personnel, he made it clear that the decision on surgery is his alone.

"It's my decision," Deng said. "It's totally my decision."

Deng, who had the same injury during his rookie season on his right wrist and had to have surgery, made his first All-Star team this season, and is averaging 15 points and seven rebounds.