The Bulls announced point guard Cameron Payne underwent successul surgery on his right food on Friday. That was expected.
The news coming from that announcement is that Payne "is expected to make a full return in 3-4 months," according to the release, which is longer than initially expected.
The Vertical's Shams Charania first reported the news on Aug. 30 that Payne would be sidelined until late November after the surgery.
Bulls guard Cameron Payne will undergo surgery on his right foot and be sidelined until late November, league sources tell The Vertical.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) August 30, 2017
ESPN's Nick Friedell confirmed the report, saying Payne would miss "at least a couple months."
Source confirms @ShamsCharania report. Cameron Payne will have surgery on his right foot. He's out a least a couple months.— Nick Friedell (@NickFriedell) August 30, 2017
A "full return" would put Payne back on the floor with the Bulls during the second week of December, with the backend of that timeframe coming in early January, almost halfway through the regular season. He'll be in a spint the next 7 to 10 days, followed by a boot for 6 to 8 weeks, per the release.
The Bulls could also work back Payne slowly given the current state of the franchise, where losing games could benefit them in the long-term more than short-term wins. Payne also broke the foot twice last season, and a screw was inserted into the foot the second time.
Zach LaVine, the key piece of the Jimmy Butler trade in June, is battling back from ACL surgery. There's no timetable for his return to the floor, but it's certainly possible that the Bulls hold him out a little longer to make sure there's no chance of a re-injury.
Kris Dunn, another piece in the Butler deal, is expected to start at point guard. Jerian Grant will back him up, while David Nwaba could see more time in Payne's absence as the third point guard.