The latest injury on Jimmy Butler only compounds the woes of a team that just can’t seem to catch a break.
The Chicago Bulls’ alpha dog suffered a right heel contusion, which reduced him to a mere spectator on the sidelines. Butler has not seen action for three straight games since putting up a back-to-back 28-point performances on January 29 (vs. the Sixers) and on February 1 (against the Thunders).
Although nothing is cast in stone yet, there’s a big possibility that the 27-year-old All-Star might not suit up when the Bulls visit the Phoenix Suns this coming Friday at the Talking Stick Resort Arena in Arizona. According to Rotoworld, Butler did not even go through the pre-game shootaround before the Warriors game and was placed on the injury list well ahead of the game’s kickoff time.
While Butler has already downplayed the severity of his injury, he was also unable to tell exactly whether he would play against the Suns. He admitted that the injury still restricts some of his motion and he doesn’t want to aggravate it by forcing the issue. The Tomball, Texas native also added that he only intends to play when he gets back to his usual form, as per ESPN.
“I don’t want to be able to go out there and play like 10 minutes and be like, ‘I can’t move,'” Butler said on Wednesday. “I want to go out there and be the player I can be on both ends of the floor. My coaches, my teammates understand that. When I go out there, I want to play. There ain’t gonna be no restrictions. Go out there and play however many minutes, whatever I’m asked to do on the basketball court.”
In his absence, Butler’s team dropped two of their last three games. The latest setback was a 92-123 drubbing at the hands of the league-leading Golden State Warriors. The Bulls were also sans Butler’s on-court partner Dwyane Wade who was out for the game at the Oracle Arena in Oakland due to illness. But, that’s not to say that the team stands a very good chance even with the two around. Not against the mighty Warriors on their home turf— not by a long shot, pun intended.
Fred Hoiberg’s squad, actually, started out their 2016-2017 campaign strong only to fizzle out as the season went along. And, the Bulls have seemingly bottomed out when its big three decided to air their dirty laundry in public. The Bulls have now lost five of its last 10 games.
Meanwhile, Jimmy Butler also took the time to weigh in on the biggest free agency news during the off-season. The “Decision Part 2,” which was all about Kevin Durant’s change of zip code from Oklahoma to the Bay Area, has caused quite a stir going into the current season.
“Do what you want to do,” Butler said via Chicago Tribune. “Don’t let anyone influence what you do. You’re the one who has to live with that. Go where you think is best for you and your family, where you can win. Good for him. They’re playing great basketball, so it was a good move if you ask me.”
Butler also had some nice things to say about Durant’s current teammates, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green. A couple of players he also got the chance to play with during the Rio Olympics in 2016 when the four represented the U.S.A. Men’s Basketball team against some of the best national teams in the world.
“We were all around each other a month-and-a-half straight,” Jimmy said. So you got a good grasp and good feel of who they were as people, their work ethic and what they like to do for fun. It’s cool to be around those guys.”
[Featured Image by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images]