Bulls rookie center Wendell Carter Jr. is now expected to miss the rest of the season - or at least pretty much all of it - after surgery was recommended on his injured thumb.
Wendell Carter Jr. sustained a left thumb injury in the game at the Los Angeles Lakers on Jan. 15. A MRI was performed the next day in Los Angeles, with the initial diagnosis of an acute on chronic thumb sprain. He was examined today by Bulls hand specialists, Drs. John Fernandez and Mark Cohen. Repeat physical examination, testing under live fluoroscopic XR, and review of all tests determined the extent of the thumb injury and associated instability. Surgery is recommended with an anticipated recovery and return to sport time of 8-12 weeks.
Just yesterday we thought we were in the clear with this, when it was announced that Carter’s injury was more of the day-to-day variety. He himself pledged he’d play on Saturday and even tested the appendage in shootaround.
There’s still the scenario where Carter doesn’t get the surgery and comes back sooner to play through it, though KC Johnson is reporting that ‘signs point’ to Carter going under the knife.
So this altogether blows. The on-court product may not actually suffer that much in terms of production with a crowded frontcourt fighting for minutes as it is. But despite Carter’s contributions not being measurably great as he is, after all, a 19 year old big in the NBA, it truly is bad for his development if his rookie season is cut in half.
And then this is made worse by knowing that GarPax will shovel this on their excuse-pile for why their roster and coaching decisions stink. We were already going to hear how “losing Denzel really hurt us” and “the early season injuries kept us from finding a real rhythm” and now there’s this! I’d say it’s truly sick if I’m feeling worse for hypothetical future Gar Format than Carter’s health, but this is what they’ve done to me.