The last thing the Bulls needed was another injury woe, but that’s what they got when it was learned on Saturday that Luol Deng had been dealing with a sore left Achilles that he originally tweaked on Nov. 27 in the team’s only win on the “Circus Trip.”
Deng said the injury occurred when someone stepped on the side of his leg, causing him to twist his ankle in a way where he tweaked his Achilles. He had been getting treatment since that time, but re-aggravated the injury in the Bulls win over the Miami Heat on Thursday, causing him to sit out in Saturday’s loss to Detroit.
“I tried to go. We didn’t make the decision to earlier in shootaround (on Saturday),” Deng said. “The last game, I wasn’t sure (if I was going to play). I felt better throughout the day then I kind of tweaked it in the second quarter in last game. It just kind of flared up on me the next day, had a lot of swelling and still has a lot of swelling in it.
The All-Star small forward said that he has never dealt with an injury of this kind and that he’s receiving a lot of treatment, but mostly icing and elevating his foot to try and get the swelling down. He also revealed that he did undergo an MRI exam and that everything was fine.
The Bulls (8-10) have lost seven out of their last nine games and with a stretch of four games in five nights beginning on Tuesday with Milwaukee, Deng would like to re-join his team sooner rather than later.
“I want to get back as soon as I can,” he said. “We’re just going to treat it these next two days and my mindset is to be ready for the next game. As long as I can run out there, I feel like I can play. I don’t know about the minutes and how much I’ll play, but (I’ll play when) it’s good enough and comfortable enough to where I can be effective out there.”
Deng is averaging 19.4 points, 7.1 rebounds and 4.2 assists.