Deng out for year?

Following two weeks of rest and low-impact workouts, Luol Deng’s lower right leg is still bothering him and the forward doesn’t appear any closer to returning than two weeks ago when the rest was prescribed.

“It’s a stress fracture,” Bulls coach Vinny Del Negro said. “Until that heals – it takes time – we’ll try to be smart about it.

“Luol wants to be out there as much as anybody, but injuries happen and we’ve had our share this year and this one’s tough. We have to try to be smart about it and get him back as soon as we can.”

Deng didn’t accompany the team to Washington for the game with the Wizards tonight.

“He’s back working out, just getting his pool work in and getting on the elliptical as much as he can and the treadmill and all that stuff,” Del Negro said. “He still has some discomfort, so we’ll just take it day-to-day and week-to-week and as soon he feels healthy and can get out there and get back in shape and get in the flow, he’ll be out there.

“It’s gonna take a little time.”

Since there’s only about three weeks left in the regular season, there’s a chance Deng might not return this year.

“It could be,” Del Negro said. “You just don’t know how it’s gonna react. I mean, we want to be smart about it, too. We don’t want him to come back and really seriously injure himself. He’s got some discomfort, some pain. Until he gets that worked out, he’ll be on the sidelines.”

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