The NBA road hasn’t come without its potholes for Wendell Carter Jr.
Chicago’s No. 7-overall pick in the 2018 draft had his rookie season cut short due to thumb surgery after only 44 games. Now, after training to get back on the court this summer, the Bulls announced last week that Carter Jr. would be going through yet another surgery, but this time, to repair his core muscle.
The team announced he underwent the surgery yesterday and is expected to be on a 6-8 week rehabilitation assignment.
UPDATE: Bulls center Wendell Carter Jr. underwent a core muscle surgery earlier today. Carter's surgery went as expected and he will be on a 6-8 week rehabilitation protocol. He is expected to be ready for training camp. pic.twitter.com/GxooOAaEzD
— Chicago Bulls (@chicagobulls) July 10, 2019
While none of these injuries are expected to impact him in the long-run, they are certainly viewed as steps backward. Carter Jr. already missed a lot of time on the court last season, and these summer months are a valuable time to get back in shape. According to the Chicago Tribune’s K.C. Johnson, Carter Jr.’s goal this offseason was to work on adding weight (which he definitely needs), but with his rehabilitation process in the works and, what we are assuming is a lingering core pain, that goal will have to be put on hold.
According to the Bulls, Carter Jr. is expected to be back in time for training camp. Fortunately, this will at least allow for him to practice with the team and put in much of the necessary time on the court. Conditioning wise, he may not be as prepared as his counterparts, but he’ll be back on track.
Let’s hope the injury bug finally crawls away from Carter Jr. after this bite. He has a ton of potential upside that we only got glimpses of last season. After all, in just those 44 games he managed to average 10.3 points per game with 7.0 rebounds per game with a 48.5 field goal percentage. Those numbers aren’t half bad for a rookie, and the Bulls definitely need his help on the inside. I know LaVine, Markkanen and, now, White get a lot of hype, but don’t sleep on Carter Jr.
I mean, remember this game when he put up 25 points on the Nuggets… bask in all his glory.
Anyway, here’s to hoping he can stay healthy: *raises basketball.*