Breaking news out of Chicago has reported that Chicago Bulls forward Luol Deng is back in the hospital. Comcast Sports Network in Chicago was the first to break the news, also citing that Deng did not travel to Miami with the team.
Of course, this indicates that Deng’s status for tomorrow night’s game, one against LeBron James and the Miami Heat, is even further in doubt. Deng was admitted to the hospital last Wednesday with flu-like symptoms. After tests were done, it was thought that he may have meningitis. Because of that, Deng was given a spinal tap which ended up causing even more issues, keeping him in the hospital for a longer period of time.
Saturday morning, Deng was released from the hospital only to be re-admitted in Chicago Sunday morning.
The Bulls split the two games (six and seven) against the Brooklyn Nets in which Deng was not able to suit up, ultimately winning the more important of them to move on to the second round. Deng would have had the tall task of manning up James for the entire night, as he is Chicago’s best all-around defender.
Instead, this now means that Jimmy Butler will be kept on James. Butler is a capable defender and also has added a handful of offensive aspects to his game over the season. Without Deng though, it looks likely that Butler will again play a full 48 minutes. Head coach Tom Thibodeau will unlikely want to match up James with Vladimir Radmonovic or DeQuan Cook off the bench.
Our thoughts and prayers are certainly with Deng and his family, wishing him a speedy recovery from whatever this horrid sickness may be. For now, we wish the Bulls the best of luck against the highly touted Heat in what will surely be a physical battle all series long.