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Taj Gibson injury: sent home from road trip, could miss substantial time

a VERY old photo, but appropriate.
a VERY old photo, but appropriate.
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The Bulls injury situation got a lot worse over the weekend as this Taj Gibson ankle sprain looks to be pretty severe.

The Bulls sent Taj Gibson back to Chicago to have the left ankle he now has sprained three times in seven months examined by team physician Brian Cole. Gibson will miss the back-to-back set of games beginning Monday in Utah at least, and coach Tom Thibodeau said Cole would determine whether Gibson would rejoin the team by Friday’s matinee in Boston.

Given that Gibson made clear late Friday that he needs to put the nagging injury behind him for good before returning, missing the remainder of the trip is likely.

Indeed, here was Taj after the game.

It’s still sore. It’s still weak. Just gotta get back to trusting the doctors and doing it the right way instead of just saying, ‘Patch me up, Coach,’ and throwing me out there. I have to be smarter.

Sigh, same old dumb too-competitive Bulls. This stuff happens all over, just last week Kevin Martin had a fracture in his wrist and still finished out the game he was in, but it seems it does quite often with the Bulls. Not letting injuries heal for the sake of some regular season wins.

[And then when another player like Derrick Rose tries to take the long view, he does so clumsily and gets bashed for that approach as well...]

The mentioned 3 times Taj has sprained that left ankle was on Friday, the Cavs game (where he re-entered the game, then sat the next one), and the final game of the playoffs against Washington. The entire '13-'14 season he was healthy, but did have an ankle sprain in the prior offseason (unsure if it was the left), and missed 17 games in '12-'13 and 3 in the season before that to the left ankle.

Taj plays really hard and jumps a lot, it'll happen and probably keep happening once in a while. Just have to hope he doesn't rush this one, but it's a big blow to have him out now, especially with Noah on a minutes restriction (still, I think?), Pau Gasol nursing a calf strain, and no capable 5th big on the roster.