by Carlos Nazario,
The injury bug hit the Bulls hard this past season, knocking out at least 7 of their players at one time or another, including the big one that ended Derrick Rose’s season during the playoffs. One of the injured was F Luol Deng, who had a torn ligament in his non-shooting wrist in January, yet played the rest of the season with it.
It was a foregone conclusion that Deng would have surgery on the wrist after the season. He instead decided to play in the Olympics for the British National Team. Deng is originally from war-torn Sudan, but fled to Britain. He wanted to have a chance to lead Britain to its first victory in the Olympics since 1948, and to do it in his adopted homeland.
Understandably, the Bulls were a little worried about Deng delaying the surgery. The longer he waits to have it, the more time it would take him away from the court representing the Bulls.
Now comes word that Deng probably will NOT have the surgery and possibly wait until the end of the 2012-2013 season if he does have it.
“Did I look like I needed surgery?” Deng responded when asked about the surgery. “I’m fine right now. I feel great. There are a lot of things I want to improve in my game that I want to focus on. I want to be a better player than I was last year.”
Deng went on to say, “I have time to make decisions and be healthy by the time we start training camp.”
Well, let’s see. The British team finally got its win on its final attempt in the round robin round of Olympic basketball, by beating China 90-58. Deng shot 3-13 in the game. Overall, he shot 31% from the field. Not exactly the numbers expected from an All-Star. In addition, this past season was his worst in terms of shooting percentage, and his points per game average was more than 2 points lower than in the previous 2 years. I would say to Deng that yes, I believe you do need the surgery.
At this point, with only a couple of months left before the opening of training camp, it would not make sense to have the surgery. If he does, it would run his rehab into the season, and the Bulls are already without Rose until at least January. With a practically new squad, they cannot afford to have their two best players be out of action for an extended period of time.
“I’m just going to get ready for the season,” Deng responded when asked a second time about surgery. Deng toughed it out for a season, we will see if he can do it again.