The Chicago Bulls announced via a press release this morning that second year guard Denzel Valentine will miss the remainder of the season to pursue an arthroscopic debridement surgery on his left knee tomorrow morning. He had been experiencing swelling in that knee in the past week.
Washington Wizards star John Wall missed about six weeks of action after undergoing the same procedure in late January.
This is the latest setback in an injury-plagued basketball career for Valentine. In his pre-draft workouts in 2016, there were concerns especially about his right knee (which he injured in high school) after an MRI revealed concerns about its long-term durability. During his senior year at Michigan State, Valentine underwent a mild arthroscopic procedure this same left knee that forced him to miss about three weeks of action.
Then in his rookie season with the Bulls, Valentine had several ankle issues and only played 57 games that season followed by offseason surgery. You may recall that was only announced by the Bulls after internet sleuths saw a picture of Valentine in a walking boot.
Valentine made some strides in year two in the NBA, playing all 77 games so far this year and averaging 10.2 points per game helped by shooting the ball at a 38.6 percent clip from behind the 3-point line. KC Johnson has declared that this was Valentine “proving his worth as a rotational piece for the future”, and it seems like John Paxson agrees.
Although this procedure should be minor, the injuries have piled up for Valentine early on in his career which is a dubious development especially for a player with little margin to lose in terms of athleticism.
For the Bulls, this is now the 5th much-hyped (by them, anyway) young player to be shut down, though in the case of Zach LaVine and Kris Dunn those look to be somewhat embellished recovery timelines for immediate losing purposes. Antonio Blakeney had a wrist fracture, and Paul Zipser also is a player on the roster who isn’t playing anymore.