Mike Dunleavy's recovery has taken a bit of a hit, as he’s been recommended to take two weeks away from basketball activity while focusing only on his recovering back.
It’s a bit alarming considering Dunleavy was thought to be on track for a return this month after back surgery in late September, but it appears the Bulls will have to survive without him for an undisclosed amount of time.
He’s seen a doctor Monday and will go to see other specialists around the country before a definitive diagnosis is given.
“Mike’s had a little setback with his back,” Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg said. “He had a little pain this last week. He feels better after taking a couple days off. Had him seen by the doctor today and the recommendation is for him to get off the floor and really focus on just straight rehab for about two weeks.”
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Hoiberg denied Dunleavy would have to undergo another surgery or even that this injury could linger to the point where it’s season-ending, but it magnifies an issue the Bulls already have at that spot given Tony Snell and Doug McDermott have been underwhelming thus far.
One wonders if the Bulls, given their standing in the Eastern Conference isn’t as definitive as its been in recent years, will consider making some kind of roster move to compensate for Dunleavy’s extended absence.
There’s no way to determine how effective Dunleavy will be when he gets back given his advanced age and the fact back injuries produce a myriad of results.
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The Bulls are appearing to take a careful approach at this point after being so optimistic in the last few weeks.
“He was really sore when we went out on the west coast, and he had upped his activity level quite a bit, and it quieted down a lot which is a good sign these last couple days when he had inactivity,” Hoiberg said. “Now it’s a matter of getting those muscles strengthened in the back and the core and go out and see a specialist and put a plan together and hopefully get him back out there.”