Between positive reports from the NBA Draft and free agency, good vibes have been flowing for the Chicago Bulls this summer. Unfortunately, one of the team’s core pieces has hit a bump in the road.
And not his first bump, either:
UPDATE: Bulls center Wendell Carter Jr. will undergo a procedure on Tuesday, July 9 to repair a core muscle injury. Carter is expected to be ready for training camp.
— Chicago Bulls (@chicagobulls) July 3, 2019
The Bulls announced that center Wendell Carter Jr. will have surgery to repair an injured core muscle this coming Tuesday. The surgery will keep Carter from playing in the Summer League, but there is optimism that he will be ready for training camp. Carter’s return for training camp is good news for the Bulls, who need all hands on deck as they continue to push through with their rebuild.
But to be clear, Carter shouldn’t be rushed back from injury, either. Especially since he’s had some issues this offseason:
Had line last month Carter’s offseason workouts had been slowed a bit by back soreness. On draft night, was told Carter was back on track. Minor or not, Bulls/Carter talked about adding strength this offseason after rookie season cut short by thumb surgery. Setback for sure.
— K.C. Johnson (@KCJHoop) July 3, 2019
K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune heard Carter’s offseason workout plan hit a slow spot because of back soreness, but then heard the Duke product was “back on track.” In any case, it’s hard not to view this injury as a setback. It’s never good to have injuries this close to one another, but the projection that Carter will be ready to roll for training camp is encouraging.
Carter’s return for training camp would be wonderful news for a player whose rookie season was limited to just 44 games because of thumb surgery. If Carter can overcome these early battles with the injury bug, he will slot into the starting front court next to Lauri Markkanen. But if there are any future setbacks, at least the Bulls will be in a position to pivot in the short term with a reserve like Thaddeus Young or even Luke Kornet.