Chicago Bulls forward Derrick Jones Jr. will miss the next two-to-four weeks with a hyperextension injury in his right knee, the team announced Thursday.
That timeline establishes a return window between Jan. 27 and Feb. 10, and a range of eight to 16 potential game absences.
"An MRI of Jones’ knee revealed no ligamentous damage, but it did confirm significant bone bruising," the Bulls said in a statement.
All things considered, that's good news.
The injury occurred 36 seconds into the first quarter of Wednesday's loss to the Nets, when Jones Jr. landed awkwardly on his right leg attempting a jump pass in transition. The sixth-year forward crumpled to the ground in obvious pain, and, favoring his right leg, was minutes later helped off the floor by Bulls staffers.
His absence further strains a forward rotation already missing key defensive cogs in Alex Caruso (health and safety protocols), Javonte Green (groin) and, of course, Patrick Williams. Alfonzo McKinnie played 20 minutes in Jones Jr.'s stead against Brooklyn; Troy Brown Jr.'s role has steadily increased in recent weeks as well.
Green, the Bulls' regular starting power forward, had a two-to-four week timeline placed on his recovery on Jan. 3, while Caruso's return is dependent on his cycling numbers and eventual reconditioning process once he clears protocols (which he entered on Jan. 5).
Jones Jr. has appeared in 31 games for the Bulls, averaging 17.2 minutes, and started the last six with Caruso and Green sidelined. He is averaging 6.3 points and 3.4 rebounds while shooting career-bests from the field (58.2 percent) and 3-point range (40.5 percent), providing valuable length and athleticism as a perimeter and interior defender and rebounder.