TORONTO—Jimmy Butler was all smiles as he met with the media during All-Star availability despite his noticeable limp from his left knee and the stiffness that comes from sitting down for a long period of time.
Such as meeting with the pesky media, although he wanted to be in this atmosphere, around his peers despite not being able to play after being selected as an All-Star reserve from the coaches, being replaced by teammate Pau Gasol
“It’s good, getting better. I can move a little bit,” Butler said. “The main thing is not letting it get stiff, so when I get back I can still move it.”
It’s a contrast from when Butler “heard something pop” on that drive in Denver when his left knee gave out a bit, resulting in what the Bulls are calling a left knee strain, which will have him out for three to four weeks, apparently.
[SHOP: Gear up, Bulls fans!]
He’s doing ice and electric stimulation treatments daily, as his trainer made the trip to Toronto with Butler to monitor him. Butler hopes he can start riding the exercise bike soon and that he has to keep moving around to keep his knee loose.
“Yeah I was scared, like please don’t let anything for real be wrong,” Butler said. “That’s the only question I was asking. Will I have surgery? How long do I have to be out? Can I play in the All-Star game? Knowing what guys history with knees…”
Butler said the team doctors told him it was something about the capsule around his knee, but couldn’t really get into the medical jargon that’s associated with his injury. He hopes the 3-4 week prognosis can be cut, considering the state of affairs with the team.
“Of course I do. I want to play, we have Cleveland coming out of the break? I want to play as soon as possible,” Butler said. “If I can I will, trust me. But I gotta make sure I’m right. I don’t want to re-injure anything.”
One thing he does know and can’t ignore is the Bulls’ slide coming right into the break. Losing five in a row at home and four in a row overall isn’t something Butler has experienced much as a Bull.
“It’s been brutal. Am I surprised? Yes and no,” Butler said. “We know if we don’t guard, if we don’t play hard, we’ll lose. If we change it, we’ll win.”
As the Bulls slip closer and closer to the bottom of the playoff picture, the thought of the big bad Bulls don’t scare opponents anymore and Butler realizes it.
“When people go up against us, they used to think (man), we gotta go up against Chicago,” Butler said. “Right now the way we’re playing as a team, people might be quiet or happy, excited to play against us. That’s not good.”