We are exactly 26 days away from the Bulls season opener and injuries are starting to show up. The Bulls made a lot of moves this offseason to create a contending team in the East. However, that success could be impacted by unpredictable injuries. With just four days before the official start of training camp, it’s never a good sign to see injury reports popping up. Today’s injury news was especially big for the Bulls.
Bulls second-year forward Patrick Williams suffered a severe left ankle sprain and is anticipated to return in 4-to-6 weeks.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) September 24, 2021
Projected starting power forward Patrick Williams is going to be out of commission for at least four weeks. With just 26 days until the Bull’s first game it’s looking very likely that he is going to miss some games to start the year. One good piece of information that came out shortly after this announcement is that Williams actually had this injury occur on September 15th and the 4-6 week recovery is retroactive to that date.
Clarification on Williams’ injury I just got confirmed through team: 4-6 week timeline is retroactive to the injury date (9/15)
Four weeks from 9/15 = Oct. 13, seven days before the regular season opener. Six weeks = Oct. 27, at which point Bulls will have played 4 games https://t.co/UYxs8SjDG4
— Rob Schaefer (@rob_schaef) September 24, 2021
With this news, there’s hope that Williams won’t miss any regular-season games. With the full six-week recovery he will only miss out on four games. It might be in the team’s best interest to let Williams take the full six weeks to ensure that he is ready to go and fully healed. Either way, this is a far too common occurrence for the Bulls over the years. After an impressive offseason, the last thing the Bulls need is injuries.
Coby White is still recovering
One injury that can’t be forgotten is guard Coby White’s shoulder injury. He ended up requiring surgery this offseason for a shoulder injury. At the time of the injury, he was slated to have four months’ worth of recovery time before he would get back on the court. The Bulls gave an update along with the news of Williams’s injury.
Coby White (shoulder) has made steady progress over the past 4 months, is anticipated to make a full return in Nov.
Patrick Williams sustained a severe left ankle sprain during an optional individual workout, is anticipated to make a full return in 4-to-6 weeks.
— Chicago Bulls (@chicagobulls) September 24, 2021
Everything appears to be on the same timeline as before with White. He is anticipated to make a full recovery and return to action in November. The Bulls could potentially be without two of their young core players to begin this season.
While White’s impact isn’t as big as Williams it’s still something of note. White is likely going to be able to move to the shooting guard position coming off the bench once healthy. The Bulls acquired point guard Alex Caruso to come off the bench which frees up Coby to move to shooting guard. After struggling last year in the point guard role this should help Coby to get back to his natural self and shoot the ball lights out. Unfortunately, we will have to wait until likely mid-November before we see White hit the floor. The one thing that can derail this new Bulls team success is injuries and having them this early is concerning.
Injury-free training camp
If there’s one thing this Bulls team needs it’s an injury-free training camp. With training camp tipping off in just four days and preseason games following shortly after the Bulls need to make sure players are staying healthy. The “good” news surrounding these two injuries is they aren’t injuries caused by poor conditioning. One was a shoulder injury and the other was a sprained ankle. While we don’t have the details on Coby’s injury it was a labrum injury that typically comes from some form of contact or fall. With that being said the Bulls need to get through this preseason unscathed. We want to get as accurate of a picture of how this team will perform with one another and with injuries that’s impossible. Time for the team to play smart and do whatever they can to stay healthy.
The Bulls may need help at power forward
The one thing about Williams injury is it shows the team’s need for more power forwards. Behind Williams will likely be new addition power forward Alize Johnson and then it’s a guess as to who is next. While the Bulls could try and go with a three-guard lineup and move forward DeMar DeRozan over to PF the team will certainly need some more depth. The Bulls still have one avenue to bring in another player if they want to add more depth. It’s highly unlikely but it is definitely a possibility.
FWIW: Bulls still have that $5mil trade exception in their back pocket from Theis deal.
While I don’t expect it to be used over the next couple of weeks, I do think we should expect it to be used on PF depth. This Patrick Williams scare is a big reminder of that roster hole.
— Elias Schuster (@Schuster_Elias) September 24, 2021
Like I said it’s highly unlikely but it could happen down the road if the team realizes they don’t have the guys they need to back up the PF spot. If Williams ends up missing the first few games it will certainly be an early test to see how well our backup power forwards perform. Who knows, that might be exactly what the backups at that position need? We will certainly hear more about each guy’s progress over the next month. With the season coming up soon all we can do is hope for some quick healing and the remaining Bulls roster to stay healthy.