CHICAGO — To start, the short answer to the headline question, at the moment, is a resounding NO, as was the case when the article was written.
Bur on Monday, at least early Monday, Bulls fans woke up to grim news across the board as Chicago is announcing numerous injuries that will keep starters out of the lineup for a while.
Derrick Rose is, of course, still nursing his turf toe/sprain but is making progress. But he has gone on record as saying the toe won’t be fully healed anytime during the regular season.
But the most devastating news comes in the form of Luol Deng now being in danger of missing the rest of the regular season. Deng had x-rays on wrist on Sunday and was re-evalutated by team doctors on Monday. Deng is downplaying the severity of the injury.
“I just got hit on it,” Deng said. “But it will be fine.”
Despite the x-rays being negative on Deng’s wrist, head coach Tom Thibodeau’s quote about the situation has a grim edge to it if read into.
“We’re disappointed for him that he’s injured because he’s put so much work into it.” Thibodeau said.
That can either mean one of two things. Either Thibodeau is merely saying he feels bad for Deng because right nw he’s one of the hottest players in the NBA and any missed time takes him off that hot streak. But it can also be interpreted as laced with the disappointment of knowing Deng’s incredible season has come to a grinding and abrupt halt.
When talking to Derrick Rose about the injury, he shared the grim sentiment that is quickly spreading throughout Chicago about Deng. As Nick Friedell put it, Rose sounded like a guy who knows he’ll be without Deng for quite some time.
Both Luol Deng and Taj Gibson will be out for tonight’s game against the Nets but the story is quickly becoming how injury-riddled this Bulls squad is becoming and how fragile it is without it’s two biggest stars. Tom Thibodeau is downplaying the anxiety about the Bulls depth and all the injuries too it.
“Actually it’s not that difficult because of the depth of the team,” he said. “Our second unit plays a lot, so if there’s an injury, the next guy steps up and we go from there. We got 14 guys on the roster that can all play.”