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Luol Deng says it wasn’t flu, rather spinal tap kept him out of Game 6

May 3, 2013, 4:28 PM EST

Luol Deng, Joakim Noah AP

If Gregg Popovich were Luol Deng’s coach, he may have written on Thursday night’s lineup card “DNP — Spinal Tap.” And we all would have turned the jokes up to 11.

But Tom Thibodeau and the Bulls play things closer to the vest, so the official word as to why Deng was sent home before Game 6 Thursday was he had flu like symptoms. Nate Robinson played through the flu Thursday — he was throwing up during timeouts. With half the Bulls team playing through injuries Deng didn’t come off well in the exchange.

Deng took to twitter to clear the air Friday — he was not sent home by the team because of a mere flu, it was far more serious (the first tweet used twitter extension service TMI):

On Wed I was taken to the ER and my symptoms indicated I may have meningitis In order to play on Thurs I was required to undergo a spinal tap

Deng says he was back in the ER on Friday, which obviously will make him questionable for Game 7 Saturday, although he wants to play.

Deng has been through this before — he had a fracture in his leg and the team played coy, so fans were all over him for not playing through pain. Deng’s savvy enough to go over the team’s head and directly to the fans with this stuff now.

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