CHARLOTTE—There’s been no time frame on the return for Jimmy Butler, although Fred Hoiberg said the All-Star guard is feeling better compared to his nasty spill in Denver Friday night.
“Jimmy is receiving treatment back home. He feels better,” Hoiberg said at the morning shootaround at Time Warner Cable Arena, where the Bulls play the Hornets. “We still don’t have a time frame on everything but the important thing is he’s feeling a lot better than he was a couple of days ago. He still has a lot of soreness in there. I would doubt he would play Wednesday but then we’ll kind of make a determination from there.”
There’s a bit of ambiguity with Butler, considering he had to be held back from playing Wednesday night in Sacramento only to come back Friday and injure himself in the second quarter.
Perhaps it’s that reason where the Bulls won’t commit to a timeline, with just one more game before All-Star break and then a long break before the team reconvenes again, in Cleveland on a Thursday night.
“Good question. It’s what it is right now,” Hoiberg said. “It’s an injury that a lot of it is based on how he recovers and the important thing is he’s making progress. We’ll continue to get him treatment and if he can continue to make progress a lot of this will be based on he feels.”
Surgery appears to be ruled out, even a minor procedure and it’ll be a matter of pain management for Butler until the offseason.
“He’s still got a lot of stiffness in it,” Hoiberg said. “It was an injury that had a lot of pain associated with that. It’s just about hopefully continuing to improve every day understanding that there’s going to be a lot of soreness involved with this particular injury.”
[SHOP: Gear up, Bulls fans!]
Speaking of ambiguous, Nikola Mirotic’s status has improved as he was released from the hospital a few days ago and is just starting to eat again. The initial prognosis surrounding his appendectomy was that he would be back following the break but with his hematoma setback, the team hasn’t stated when he will return to action.
“He still hasn't done much physical activity, it's going to be about getting him back in shape,” Hoiberg said. “Which when you're really on a liquid diet for five days, it's about building the strength back up. That's what it's going to be about for Niko and hopefully that will start soon.”