The Chicago Bulls will be without Wendell Carter Jr. for at least another month.
Carter, after suffering a quad injury in practice last week, was diagnosed with a severe right quad contusion on Tuesday after an MRI, the team announced. He will be evaluated again in four weeks.
Carter collided with teammate Denzel Valentine during a five-on-five drill in practice while rolling to the hoop, which caused his leg to swell up. He missed Chicago’s last three games while doctors waited for that swelling to subside.
“Once the swelling went down, they realized it was a pretty significant bruise there that he’s got,” coach Billy Donovan said, via the Chicago Tribune. “And it’s probably going to take a little bit longer to heal.”
Carter has averaged a career-high 12.8 points and eight rebounds so far this season, his third in the league. The 21-year-old put up 11.3 points and 9.4 rebounds last season, and has one year left on his four-year, $22 million deal with the Bulls.
This quad injury is just latest the former Duke star has suffered in his short time in the league. Carter has missed time due to ankle, abdomen and thumb injuries, and hasn’t played more than 44 games in a single season — though last season was cut short for Chicago due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“He’s obviously battled some things over the early part of his career in the NBA, and he’s had some significant time loss for different situations,” Donovan said, via the Tribune. “Wendell’s a great guy. He’s a good team guy. He’s worked hard to get himself ready, it was just kind of a freak thing that happened in practice. I just feel bad he has to miss the amount of time he’s going to miss.”
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