CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Mike Dunleavy didn’t put a lot of stock in the eight-to-10 week timetable for his return from back surgery, and according to Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg on Tuesday, the eight-week mark is looking a lot more realistic.
Dunleavy had back surgery right before the start of training camp, and was very adamant that he wouldn’t be returning until he felt 100 percent, no matter what the timetable mapped out by the team was.
Progress, however, continued to be made by the veteran small forward.
“He feels really good,’’ Hoiberg said of Dunleavy following the morning shootaround. “He’s upping his activity level every day. He was out getting shots during our team meeting the other day. He’s doing underwater treadmill work, still trying to keep impact off but also ramping it up.
“The biggest thing for him is going to be getting his conditioning and legs before you throw him out there. When you’re dealing with a back, you don’t want him to not have the strength, especially the core strength, to re-injure it. He’s coming along as scheduled. I think the initial diagnosis was six-to-eight. It’s probably looking more like eight. But we’ll evaluate it as we go along this path.’’
Third-year forward Tony Snell had been starting in Dunleavy’s place, while Doug McDermott was also helping with minutes off the bench.
Also missing from tonight’s game in Charlotte will be Kirk Hinrich, who was still dealing with a toe injury.