Friday, February 15, 2013
Can Bulls keep Deng healthy?
By Tom Carpenter
It's been more than a year since Luol Deng tore ligaments in his non-shooting wrist. He toughed it out to finish last season, played in the Olympics over the summer and opted against undergoing surgery to repair the damage because it would have kept him sidelined into the beginning of this season. So far, he has shown no issues with the joint, but it's fair to wonder if Deng may have opted for the surgery had he believed that Derrick Rose might not play at all this season, as the point guard hinted might be the case this week.
"That will be an interesting question for Deng later today," ESPNChicago.com's Nick Friedell said in a Friday chat session. "If he had known for sure that Derrick would be out the rest of the season would he had still opted not to have the surgery? I'm not sure he'll be able to answer that as truthfully as he wants to now, though."
Hindsight is 20-20, as they say. All signs up until this week were that Rose would return soon after the All-Star break, and perhaps then the Chicago Bulls would make a playoff run. We will have to wait to see whether Deng addresses the wrist issue this offseason and what impact that may have on next season.
As for the remainder of this season, Deng has already battled shoulder and ankle injuries, plus he missed a stretch of games last month due to a hamstring injury. His scoring has dropped each month this season -- 18.4 ppg in November, 17.5, 16.0, 14.4 -- so perhaps the wear and tear of filling in for Rose is taking its toll. Fantasy owners may want to consider moving him before his body gives out.