Bulls’ Patrick Williams, Alex Caruso continue to progress

Both players tested their surgically repaired wrists Monday, getting in some extra work after the morning shootaround. Coach Billy Donovan said they will be re-evaluated in about two weeks, when he expects to have a better timetable for their returns.

SHARE Bulls’ Patrick Williams, Alex Caruso continue to progress

MIAMI — Alex Caruso (right wrist surgery) and Patrick Williams (left wrist surgery) worked out after the Bulls’ morning shootaround Monday, getting a full-court run in at the FTX Arena with passing and some shooting. And while Williams looked slightly ahead of Caruso, coach Billy Donovan warned not to read too much into it.

“I don’t know who is closer than who,’’ Donovan said.

Caruso obviously was favoring his injury more than Williams, shooting and passing more with his left hand in the drills, but he has had a cast and splint on more recently than Williams.

“The biggest issue I think for Alex right now is this is the first time he’s been able to get on the floor with the ball and doing stuff,’’ Donovan said. “Obviously having his hand in a cast, or a splint as he’s had it, he’s got to get his strength back. He can’t really even pass with that; it doesn’t feel comfortable shooting it. Not pain, it’s just stiff, and it’s weak. It’s going to take some time to build that up. Once he gets to that point, then he’ll be cleared for contact.’’

Before reaching that next step, however, Donovan anticipated at least “a couple of weeks’’ of the basic drills Caruso was doing. Then he’ll get another scan to see how the fracture has healed. That would put Caruso near mid-March before he can start contact. Then it’s about finding his rhythm.

Conditioning won’t be an issue, especially with how much running and biking -Caruso has been doing throughout the rehab process.

As for Williams, he was using both hands a bit more in the drills, but he also had a more significant injury that involved a fracture and torn ligaments. He’s still at a stage in which he’s strengthening the wrist and, like Caruso, would then be scanned again in a few weeks before being cleared for contact.

“[Williams is] the same thing where because of the nature of the injury — and it was such a detailed surgery to get the bone back together when he fractured it — he’s got to go through a pretty extensive ramp-up of strengthening,’’ Donovan said.

What about Lonzo?

While Williams and Caruso were getting a sweat in, point guard Lonzo Ball was still in street clothes, recovering from his knee surgery.

That didn’t mean he wasn’t progressing, however.

“Lonzo is still doing some straight-ahead running,’’ Donovan said. “The biggest thing for him is we’ll start to do some change of direction, probably amp up the intensity of his sprints, but he’s progressing. Nothing has changed with his time schedule.’’

Ball was given the six- to eight-week window, so, like Williams and Caruso, that mid-March time period will tell a lot more.

“I don’t think anyone is behind schedule,’’ Donovan said.

The Thompson effect

It was only three games and a few practices, but veteran Nikola Vucevic was already thrilled with the impact that new-comer Tristan Thompson has made on and off the court.

“He’s been a great addition for us,’’ Vucevic said. “A player with a lot of experience, he’s played in meaningful games, the playoffs, and just knows what it takes to win. A physical player, a good rebounder, a good defender. Offensively, he just makes life easier for everybody with his screen-and-rolling.’’

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