Alex Caruso has missed 10 games due to a foot sprain and subsequent stint in the NBA’s Health and Safety Protocols, and it looks like that number will hit at least 13.
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Bulls plan to keep Caruso out of the rotation over the next three games: Tonight versus Golden State, Saturday at Boston, and Monday at Memphis. The hope would be that Caruso can then return for next Wednesday’s game against Cleveland.
Chicago Bulls guard Alex Caruso won’t return to lineup until likely Wednesday vs. Cleveland, sources tell ESPN. Bulls play Warriors tonight and road games vs. Boston (Sat.) and Memphis (Mon.). He’s been out with foot sprain and remains in Covid protocols. He'll need to ramp up.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) January 14, 2022
Since Caruso left the Bulls matchup with Houston after just six minutes on December 20th, the Bulls have held just the 21st-ranked defense in the league. While Chicago can’t attribute all of its defensive shortcomings to the absence of Caruso, there is no question they have missed his relentless point of attack skills and pocket-picking ability. Not to mention, he has frequently been praised for his high basketball IQ and vocal presence on the floor.
Many of the players the Bulls had in protocols this season were able to make a quick return to the court, but it makes sense to see team trainers might take a more cautious approach with Caruso. Only six days away from a month off the floor, the team will want to make sure his conditioning is back to a comfortable level.