Chicago Bulls forward Luol Deng has been playing through a torn ligament in his left wrist for a good portion of the 2011-12 season. With the Bulls poised to make a playoff run, Deng opted against surgery and has instead weathered the pain and helped lead the team to a league best 46-15 record. However, did the all-star forward make the correct decision?
Via CSN Chicago:
At this point, there’s no choice but to play on, and Deng will give it everything he has in upcoming playoff battles against the likes of Carmelo Anthony, Paul Pierce, LeBron James, and hopefully, Kevin Durant. But then comes another big decision: will Deng still need surgery to repair the damage to his left wrist, and if he does, will he wait until after the Olympics in August?
Deng is the face of basketball in England, where he spent most of his childhood. He desperately wants to represent his country in the upcoming London games, and is unlikely to agree to having any type of surgical procedure before the games are completed.
There’s also the question of whether surgery will be absolutely necessary. Some ligaments will heal on their own over time, and doctors really aren’t sure how Luol’s wrist will look after going through the NBA playoffs and the Olympics. But if Deng does need surgery sometime in September, he could easily miss the first two months of the next NBA season, something that has to be troubling to Bulls’ management.
Deng will undoubtedly want to represent his country, so Bulls fans need to figure on their star forward either undergoing surgery post olympics or simply hoping the wrist heals.Deng is averaging 15.4 points and 6.5 rebounds while also playing tenacious defense on some of the best players in the league. The 6-9 forward has helped keep the Bulls on top despite Derrick Rose‘s injury-plagued season. The all-star guard has missed 24 games this year after sitting out only six games in his first three years in the NBA.
While doctors are unsure if Deng’s wrist will heal on its own or require surgery. If Deng opts to play in the olympics, his timeframe before the 2012-13 NBA season to rest the wrist becomes drastically shorter. If surgery is needed, the forward would likely miss the first two months of next season, going off the original 3-4 month healing period.