Injury updates on the Bulls’ Ayo Dosunmu and Patrick Williams
Dosunmu went into the concussion protocol on Tuesday, but the hope from coach Billy Donovan was it will be a quick return. As for Williams (wrist surgery), it was more baby steps on Wednesday, but steps forward for the second-year forward.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Pick a collision from the loss Sunday to Philadelphia at the United Center.
It could have been when Ayo Dosunmu, Matt Thomas and Joel Embiid had a three-car pile-up in the paint on a loose ball, or it could have happened when Dosunmu went into the base of the stanchion head-first.
That wasn’t so much a concern.
The fact that the rookie from Morgan Park High School was now missing games because of it was.
According to Bulls coach Billy Donovan, Dosunmu was in the NBA’s concussion protocol because of a blow to the head suffered in the 76ers’ game. He did play against Phoenix the following night, but by Tuesday morning it was apparent that something was wrong with the guard.
“After those two things happened he was experiencing after the game some mild headaches,’’ Donovan said. “Obviously there’s some symptoms that they go through. He was checked out medically after the [Philly] game, he was fine, so he was cleared to play. After the Phoenix game, the next morning he started talking about being a little foggy, sensitivity to light. There were more symptoms there, so we had him see the doctor and it was diagnosed that he had a concussion.’’
Not that this Bulls roster needed more injuries to the backcourt, already down Lonzo Ball (knee surgery) and Alex Caruso (wrist surgery), but the good news was a quick recovery is expected for Dosunmu.
Once the symptoms clear, he’ll have to follow protocols with some bike work and then on-the-court activity, and as long as there are no setbacks he should be cleared.
That was not the only positive news on Wednesday.Patrick Williams was not only with the team in Charlotte, but got some shots up after the shootaround and looked pretty natural in doing so. Further signs that the second-year forward was on the road back quicker than expected.
Williams had been sidelined since tearing ligaments in his wrist five games into the season, and the original timetable had him missing the entire regular season. The Sun-Times reported weeks ago, however, that there was growing momentum in the organization that he could be back sooner, and Donovan confirmed that this week.
How much sooner was still the question?
“I think the biggest thing for Patrick right now is he has to get to a place where he can take resistance on his wrist,’’ Donovan said. “That’s why I think a lot of this stuff has been very stationary. There’s been no contact. They’ll actually start with him putting his hand against the wall and pushing back and trying to build up strength that way.
“But in terms of him moving, running, cutting, doing things with him not putting his hand in harm’s way, he can do. He has progressed all the way through. His conditioning is all out of sorts being out this long and his timing. But I think the conditioning piece, we can get that under control.’’
The Ball Bros. reunion will have to wait.
Despite Caruso and Derrick Jones Jr. (finger) making the trip to Charlotte, Lonzo Ball stayed back in Chicago, making sure to stick to the rehab schedule for his knee. Even if it meant passing up the opportunity to see his brother — and Hornets All-Star guard —LaMelo Ball.
“This being a one-day trip, we really felt it would be good to have [Caruso and Jones] with the team and interacting,’’ Donovan said. “As it relates to Lonzo, I think he’s in such the early stages of his rehab, we didn’t want to miss a day.’’