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Bulls big man Wendell Carter Jr. in good spirits after surgery to repair tear in lower abdomen

Carter says he’s going to come back stronger, faster and better after having surgery Tuesday.

Wendell Carter Jr. at the Sky’s 99-83 win over the Liberty on Friday.
Wendell Carter Jr. at the Sky’s 99-83 win over the Liberty on Friday.
John L Alexander/Chicago Sky

Bulls center Wendell Carter Jr.’s second season hasn’t even begun, and he already has undergone two surgeries.

Carter, the seventh pick in the 2018 draft, said he’s in good spirits after surgery Tuesday to repair a tear in his lower abdomen.

Even though he’s missing the Summer League and his basketball-related activities will be limited the rest of the summer, Carter is happy he’ll head into the season with his setbacks behind him.

“I just give all the glory to God to allow me to get surgeries and know that I’m going to come back stronger, faster and better,” Carter said Friday at the Sky game at Wintrust Arena. “I’m a competitor. I really hate not playing, but I know in the long run, it’s going to be beneficial.”

Carter, 20, said his recovery should take five to six weeks, ending well in advance of the start of training camp in late September.

He said the core injury had bothered him since he was 15 or 16. Carter can’t pinpoint a specific incident that caused the injury, but after playing with it for so long, he couldn’t take the pain anymore.

“Just from a lateral standpoint, it didn’t allow me to use all [my] parts,” Carter said. “With it being repaired, I should come back stronger, faster and more flexible. I would always feel it when I went side to side, but I should be better now.”

Carter, who averaged 10.3 points, seven rebounds, 1.3 blocks and 25.2 minutes his rookie season, was limited to 44 games after he tore ligaments in his left hand Jan. 15 against the Lakers and underwent surgery.

He said he’s focused on trying to make up for all the lost time.