The Chicago Bulls announced on Wednesday that the recently re-signed Denzel Valentine has a tweaked hamstring. The injury must have occurred prior to the start of the team’s group workouts (Dec. 6th), as Valentine has yet to practice with the team.
Denzel Valentine has not been practicing due to a hamstring tweak. He hopes to be back to practice on Saturday.
— Chicago Bulls (@chicagobulls) December 9, 2020
Fortunately, the Bulls fifth-year guard plans to return to the court this weekend, but all signs seem to point to him missing the team’s first two preseason games. Without seeing any court time thus far and missing the first two preseason games, I think it’s safe to say the 27-year-old will be a bit behind. And don’t forget: New head coach Billy Donovan has been implementing a new system on both ends of the floor, so any missed time could be quite a setback.
The Valentine news also feels that much more frustrating when we consider his history. This is a guy who missed the entirety of the 2018-19 season after undergoing reconstructive ankle surgery. Then, last season, he saw the floor for a total of only 36 games. Despite his inability to stay on the court, though, the Bulls front office decided to extend him a qualifying offer this offseason – an already questionable decision for a team with such little space to maneuver, that isn’t looking any better in the short-term.
As annoying as this makes me feel, however, I’m going to reserve expressing any real frustration for now. Valentine indicated that he should be back on the court this weekend, which still gives him two preseason games to get back on track. Plus, while a hamstring injury can linger, it should be a relatively quick fix if it’s truly nothing more than a tweak.
We should note: With Valentine’s injury and Garrett Temple’s positive COVID test, the Bulls have started camp with a familiar problem – limited wing depth. Both should be back on the court soon, but let’s hope these familiar problems are gone soon.