Chicago Bulls All-Star shooting guard Jimmy Butler will miss the next three to six weeks with an elbow injury.
Jimmy Butler will be out for the next three to six weeks.
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Butler, the Chicago Bulls' All-Star guard, has a left-elbow injury, per a March 2 press release on the team's official website:
"The Chicago Bulls announced today that an MRI of Jimmy Butler confirmed a 2/3 ulnar ligament sprain and small bone impaction injury to the left elbow. It is estimated that Butler may be out three to six weeks."
However, there's good news for Bulls fans.
A league source told ESPN Chicago's Nick Friedell on Monday that Butler does not need surgery. The Bulls guard apparently sustained the injury during a 96-86 home loss to the Los Angeles Clippers on March 1.
According to Friedell, Butler injured his elbow when he ran into Clippers center DeAndre Jordan just three minutes into the second half. He went to the locker room shortly afterward and did not take the court again.
Butler's injury coincides with that of Derrick Rose, who has a torn medial meniscus in his right knee. Rose underwent surgery on Feb. 27 and is expected to suit up for the Bulls again this season. The outpatient procedure lasted for all of 15 minutes, per The Chicago Tribune's K.C. Johnson.
Chicago hopes Butler will return to action sometime this season, per Friedell.
To make matters worse for the Bulls, they are also without power forward Taj Gibson, who sprained his left ankle during a 96-89 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Feb. 27. Gibson, who has been dealing with the injury this season, is wearing a walking boot to help him deal with the issue, per ESPN Chicago.
Bulls backup point guard Kirk Hinrich spoke with Friedell about Butler's situation:
"[Butler] is a two-way player, All-Star, he's just having an unbelievable year. It's a huge loss but, you know, we've kind of been through this before.
"I guess when it rains, it pours. We can't sit around feeling sorry for ourselves. Nobody else is going to. We've got to find a way."
For his part, Chicago head coach Tom Thibodeau expressed optimism despite the slew of injuries that has hit the team, per Friedell:
"It's the nature of the league. No one's going to feel sorry for us. We just got to get out there and we got to get it done.
"Our team...Whoever's next, get out there, get it done...it's our reality. We got more than enough to get it done."
The Chicago Sun-Times' Joe Cowley also spoke with Thibodeau, who marvels at Butler's two-way abilities on the court:
"It's not just his scoring. He's obviously grown every year. He's a primary scorer. He's a great two-way player, great defender. We have some other guys who are coming on. As has been the case in the past, whenever someone gets hurt, it's an opportunity for someone else to grow and have the opportunity to play. [Tony Snell's] coming on. [Nikola Mirotic's] coming on. Those are pluses."
Snell and Mirotic will pick up the slack in Butler's absence. Thibodeau also told Cowley that Bulls general manager Gar Forman and vice president of basketball operations John Paxson are also looking at a possible addition to the roster.
Cowley also stresses the Bulls are 4-1 without Butler, 8-3 without Gibson and 8-6 without Rose during the 2014-15 season entering Tuesday's showdown against the Washington Wizards. That game will be Chicago's first this season without the three players.
The 25-year-old Butler is enjoying his finest season to date. He has averaged a team-high 20.2 points to go along with 5.9 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.73 steals in 55 appearances in 2014-15, per the Bulls' official website.
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