Williams, who has been sidelined since October after undergoing surgery to repair torn ligaments in his left wrist, has replaced the cast on his left arm with a removable brace, Donovan said. Now, his rehab focus is rebuilding strength and range of motion in the injured wrist and forearm.
“The surgery was an incredibly detailed surgery for what had to be done, so it was really really critical that he didn't really do anything with that hand,” Donovan said. “He did a good job, he's progressing. Now the next step is him getting back his range of motion, getting back his strength.”
In the meantime, Williams has been traveling with the team and is a consistent background presence at practices and shootarounds.
Plus, Donovan added, the Bulls have put Williams to work in their video room breaking down film and helping build scouting reports on opposing teams and players. To hear the Bulls coach tell it, that’s been a gratifying experience for the 20-year-old.
“Talking to him (Williams) a little bit, I think it's opened up some things for him, being a young player, that he's been able to see,” Donovan said. “I'm not saying that he's presenting scouting reports to the team, but he's back there in the video room with the video guys and he's getting the chance to do a lot of that film work.
“Talking to him, he said when you watch (basketball) from that perspective (on film) it's a lot different than being out there on the floor, because it's a lot slower when you're watching it on film and you can break it down. We've tried to keep him engaged that way and he's done a really good job taking advantage of that.”
The Bulls in late October put a four-to-six month timeline on Williams’ recovery, establishing a window between late February – just after the All-Star break – and late April – around the beginning of the playoffs. In a radio interview last week, executive vice president Artūras Karnišovas declined to put a timeline on Williams’ return, saying the Bulls are monitoring him “week-to-week” and won’t rush the process.
But for the time being, he’s making progress.