MINNEAPOLIS— The Bulls’ puzzling loss to the Phoenix Suns cost them more than just another game they couldn’t afford to lose as Dwyane Wade sustained a wrist injury that will cause him to miss Sunday’s game against the Timberwolves along with Jimmy Butler’s right heel not quite being ready for game action.
The Bulls started Michael Catrer-Williams, Jerian Grant, Doug McDermott, Taj Gibson and Robin Lopez against the Timberwolves as Nikola Mirotic was also out with back spasms and Paul Zipser was at the team hotel with an illness.
Wade was initially deemed questionable on the injury report and Fred Hoiberg didn’t know Wade’s status during his media availability, but it changed nearly moments are Hoiberg finished up.
Wade didn’t need to go through warm-ups, as he fell on both wrists in the loss to the Suns in an awkward play. Considering he broke his wrist once before in his career, he was a little concerned it could be something serious.
“I went up for the ball, and I think I actually got the foul, but I hit my body and I came down on both hands,” Wade said. “I’ve done that before and I actually broke my wrist before falling that way, so I was kind of nervous. Had a flashback.”
He continued to play but it was clear his right wrist took the brunt of the force and it looked swollen Sunday afternoon.
“It’s funny because the left one was hurting and then after the game the right one was the one that took over,” Wade said. “Yeah, I didn’t even do that (shoot around). You can look at it. It ain’t right. I can’t bend it either way, so I’m just going to get X-rays on it for now, see what the X-rays show, and then if I feel like I need an MRI when we get back to the city, then I’ll do that. It’s moreso the hand than the wrist, I think.”
Wade doesn’t think he’ll have to be shut down before the All-Star break, with the Bulls having games Tuesday and Thursday night before taking a week off. One wonders if it’ll be the best course of action for the 35-year old, as the Bulls could still be trying for a playoff berth when play reconvenes.
As for Butler, the Bulls are taking it day to day, but Hoiberg wouldn’t concede or entertain the possibility of him coming back too soon. Butler was clearly sore after the game Friday night and with a couple games left before the break, how the Bulls handle this could be critical.
Butler practiced in Oakland a day before the Suns game and at times looked pretty healthy but admitted it was hard to push off his right foot during the game and had his foot wrapped up in the locker room.
“It was a little worse after the game,” Hoiberg said. “After the practice, as expected, he had a little bit of soreness in there. We warmed him up before the Phoenix game and he said he was ready to go.
“We talked to the medical guys. They were comfortable with him playing. And then obviously after the first game action since he has had the heel pain, he woke up with pretty significant soreness. With the afternoon game today, give him two days rest and then we’ll make the determination about Toronto.”