Things certainly didn't look good when Taj Gibson exited last night's loss to the Wizards with a sprained left MCL, the same injury that forced the Bulls' power forward to miss nearly a month not too long ago. But according to Sam Smith, the injury isn't all that serious:
Good news on preliminary indications from Taj Gibson's MRI. Probably more a tweak and not serious. Likely to be listed day to day.— Sam Smith (@SamSmithHoops) April 3, 2013
I really have no idea how there are "preliminary indications" of the MRI and not actual results at this point, but this is definitely good news. Dr. Sam could be wrong of course, and he was way off on the severity of Richard Hamilton's plantar fascia injury earlier this year. But we'll trust him (and his source) here.
Gibson re-injured the knee on a non-contact play when he was guarding Trevor Ariza on the perimeter in the second quarter. As Gibson went to slide and plant his left foot, his knee just buckled on him. He initially tried to play through it, but called for a sub at the next dead ball and subsequently hobbled to the locker room.
Gibson admitted that he tried to play through the injury at first because he had gotten "nicked up" the past few games and kept playing. But ultimately, he conceded that he probably shouldn't have pushed things and that he "rushed back" from the initial injury in the first place.
Naturally, we got a column today from our friend Nick Friedell saying that the Bulls should "learn" from Gibson's re-injury and shut down Derrick Rose. I don't want to say too much on this matter besides that it's a bullshit premise. The Rose and Gibson situations are completely different and the Bulls shouldn't use Gibson's injury as a reason to sit Rose. If you want to argue that Rose should be shut down because time is running out on the season, go right ahead. But please don't compare it to the Gibson injury. And that's all I have to say about that.
Back to Gibson, I have to imagine that he'll miss some time even if the injury is just a tweak. And honestly, I would have no problem with him sitting the rest of the regular season in order to get healthy for the playoffs. All of these injuries certainly are a bummer (although as Doug Thonus notes, somewhat expected), but it's best to be cautious with these lingering health problems.