All-Star forward doubts he will play Friday against the because of a right hamstring injury that has kept him out of the past three games.
"Not good," he said. "But there's a chance. But most likely it's also a back-to-back, I think my chances are bigger (Saturday against the). But we'll see."
Deng injured the hamstring on Jan. 16 against thebut ended up playing almost 48 minutes and knocked down the game winner in overtime. He re-injured the hamstring against the on Jan. 18 and has missed the past three games.
On the one hand, the play of Jimmy Butler has made this less of an issue. It has certainly reduced the stress from a fan standpoint on Luol's return, and it's possible that the team is feeling the same way. But that theory kind of goes against most evidence we've seen of how this team handles injuries, with Fred clearing them and whatnot.
And that the play of Butler means it looks even more unnecessary that Deng has racked up such major minutes this season and didn't need to be rushed back from the initial injury in Toronto. At least in Noah's similar workload case he has no credible backup. It may turn out that in general high-use doesn't mean 'overuse', but that Thibsball tenet combined with this specific incident of Deng playing in that Celtics game in the first place deserves yet another wary eye at the Bulls when it comes to injury management.
Here's hoping they're learning a bit and Deng's prognosis is indeed influenced by them providing a bit of rest, but usually between the player and the team they've defaulted to getting guys back on the floor.