DENVER — He went down, but unlike so many other times, Jimmy Butler didn’t get up when he took an awkward fall and landed on his left knee late in the second quarter of Friday’s game against the Denver Nuggets.
"Early diagnosis is it’s a sprain," Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg said. "Been talking to our trainers. The knee is intact, ligament seems stable. He’ll get an MRI at 10:30 tomorrow morning, and we’ll know a lot more after that."
It was termed a knee sprain, and Butler limped out of the X-ray room at halftime along with teammate Pau Gasol, laughing with him as there was a wrap on the left knee.
The same left knee that kept Butler out of Wednesday’s game in Sacramento looked like it twisted again, and he was wheeled off in a wheelchair right before the half. But after the wheelchair was brought out, Butler eschewed leaving the floor immediately despite being in serious pain and took his free throws — because if he hadn’t, he wouldn’t be allowed to return to the game
He's going to Minneapolis for the MRI instead of Chicago, which seems to be a good sign.
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"He said he heard something pop," Derrick Rose said. "With my knees, I knew that was something serious, but I came back here a couple times, just using the restroom and seeing that they were icing it. I guess it was nothing major."
Butler had been taking contact all game and was having one of his best games to date before the injury, and one has to wonder how this will affect him going forward.
A source close to the situation said it's likely a hyperextension and that he could come back Monday against Charlotte.
"He seemed like he was in good spirits," Rose said.
Butler scored 19 with five assists, making one of his two free throws before limping back to the wheelchair and being assisted to the locker room, hearing applause from the pro-Bulls crowd.
One has to wonder how long it'll be before he hears the roar on the floor again.