Chicago Bulls shooting guard David Nwaba will sit out for two to four weeks after sustaining a severe right ankle sprain in the Bulls 96-90 loss Saturday night to the New Orleans Pelicans the team announced today.
The play where the injury was suffered is below.
Paul Zipser will fill in for Nwaba in the starting lineup and Nwaba’s injury will also presumably open up more playing time for Denzel Valentine as well. With Zipser then not as available at backup power forward, expect the returning Bobby Portis to see those minutes. Hoiberg also hinted that Kay Felder could return to a more regular role.
Nwaba has been a bit of a revelation this season. He’s averaged 6.9 points and 5.5 rebounds per game, but has had games where he’s posted 15 and 16 points.
His blend of athleticism and tenacious defense coupled with his relentless motor earned him a starting spot on this team last week.
He does provide us with something we don't have on this team. His speed is so much better than anybody at his position as far as getting down the floor. He has given us baskets in transition when we're struggling to score. He's even gotten down (the floor) one-on-four, one-on-five and found a way to get to the basket. So we'll miss that. We’ll also miss his tenacity on the glass. We’ll miss his effort on the defensive end.
-Fred Hoiberg, Per Chicago Tribune writer K.C. Johnson
The Chicago Bulls took a flier on Nwaba this summer, picking him up off of waivers after the Los Angeles Lakers cut him on July 12. This is a tough break for a player who was excelling in his specialty role.
Per the CBA FAQ, the Bulls can apply for an injured player hardship exception to open up a temporary roster spot, as Nikola Mirotic, Cameron Payne, Zach LaVine, and now Nwaba are out for the Bulls.