We’ve officially come to the point in the Bulls season that a member of da young exciting core gets some lengthy recovery prognosis out of the blue:
Wait up, Lauri, this is not your time this year. For those who guessed Wendell Carter in this pool, you ‘win’: the team announced today that Carter will be ‘evaluated in four weeks’. Carter had already missed the prior three contests due to this quad contusion, so theoretically this injury will keep him out of game action for over five weeks?
I joke that Denzel Valentine has lower extremities made of solid lead, but it may have some truth to it:
Wendell Carter Jr. said thigh contusion came on freak collision with Denzel Valentine during 5-on-5 in practice yesterday. Painful initially, but after getting treatment said he’s trending in right direction.— Rob Schaefer (@rob_schaef) January 21, 2021
Carter didn’t practice today. BD described him as doubtful vs. CHA
This report, and other earlier ones, made it seem like more of a day-to-day injury.
But perhaps Carter is just brittle, as he’s missed significant time in every season of his career. His rookie year cut short months early by a thumb sprain. That offseason he had core muscle surgery to help alleviate back soreness, though he was ready to start the ‘19-20 season. He wound up missing nearly two months later that season after a severe ankle sprain.
Availability is an ability, I think that’s an expression? When on the court, Carter hasn’t really progressed much, not nearly to the level of what his promise inspires. When he returns, there is still enough time the rest of this season to ‘evaluate’. He’ll be eligible for a contract extension this offseason.
For the team, one of the league’s worst defenses will be without one of their better defenders.
Billy Donovan said there’s no definitive plan yet for Carter’s replacement but obviously they’ve played Thad Young and Lauri Markkanen plenty at 5. Daniel Gafford has been starting. Sounds like it will be by committee.— K.C. Johnson (@KCJHoop) January 26, 2021