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Luol Deng could return to Bulls lineup Sunday against Heat

Jan 26, 2012, 8:35 AM EDT

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When the Bulls said earlier this week that Luol Deng would be out “for a while” what they meant was less than a week. Apparently.

Deng has torn ligaments in his wrist but could return to the lineup Sunday when the Bulls have a big showdown with the Miami Heat, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo.

The Chicago Tribune reported that Deng has been telling teammates he plans to play Sunday, but the organization has been more cautious about his outlook. Doctors told Deng he ultimately needs surgery on his left wrist – which isn’t his shooting hand – and that it could sideline him for three to four months.

It’s like an organization to be cautious, especially this early in the season, but the Bulls miss Deng’s versatility (they could have used him Wednesday against the Pacers). He is the second leading scorer on the team but he also brings rebounds, defense and more — he is a glue guy. Somebody who helps keep all the parts of the Bulls together.

They’re going to need guys like that against the Heat.

Not sure when he is going to have that surgery — right after the season Deng is expected to play for host Great Britain in the Olympics. Surgery after that means he misses training camp and likely the beginning of next season.

  1. florida727 - Jan 26, 2012 at 2:07 PM

    With all due respect, if he’s going to miss time, the most meaningless time in an NBA season is preseason and the early part of any season. As long as he can tolerate the pain, he’ll put off the surgery until the Olympics are done. The Bulls know, and he knows, they have a very legitimate shot at a title this year… as long as he and Rose can be relatively healthy.

  2. glink123 - Jan 26, 2012 at 2:52 PM

    zero chance of him playing in the Olympics.

  3. hwatt - Jan 26, 2012 at 5:26 PM

    after reading how Shaq never had toe surgery and regretted how the pain lingered and got worse his whole career, I think Deng needs to look at the big, career picture and just get surgery. The Bulls will be somewhere in the playoffs when he gets back.

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