Bulls' Mike Dunleavy suffers another setback, out for 4-6 more weeks

After suffering a setback in his rehab from offseason back surgery, Chicago Bulls forward Mike Dunleavy met with specialists and will now miss 4-6 more weeks before making his return to the team. Dunleavy has yet to play this season and could potentially miss half of Chicago's season as he will have to be re-evaluated before he is able to play.

From Yahoo's Adrian Wojnarowski:

After meeting with specialists in Los Angeles, the Chicago Bulls' Mike Dunleavy is expected to need four-to-six weeks of additional rehabilitation on his back before he can be cleared to return for on-court work, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

Dunleavy, a 6-foot-9 wing player, will undergo a re-evaluation at the end of the four-to-six week stretch to determine his fitness to return to basketball activities, sources said.

Dunleavy, who has yet to play this season, underwent lower back microdiscectomy surgery 2½ months ago and suffered a recent setback in his push to return to the Bulls' lineup. It is possible the recurrence of Dunleavy's injury had been because he had pushed too hard, too soon in his recovery process.

The Bulls have been missing Dunleavy's defensive skills and his 3-point shooting. Last season, Dunleavy, a very solid role player, shot 40.7 from three while averaging 9.4 points, 3.9 rebounds and 1.8 assists. In his absence, the Bulls have relied on Tony Snell and Doug McDermott but neither player is as skilled defensively and both are still relatively young players who don't have too much experience yet. 

If Dunleavy is able to join the team before the All-Star break, that would be extremely beneficial for the Bulls as they try ramp up for the playoffs. However, if he is not back by then, the Bulls will need both Snell and McDermott to take a significant step forward. Otherwise Chicago may have a difficult time maintaining a top seed in the East.

Mike Dunleavy may not play till 2016.
Mike Dunleavy may not play until 2016. (USATSI)
CBS Sports Writer

Ananth Pandian has been writing about all NBA-related things including the social and lifestyle aspect of the sport for CBS Sports since 2015. His name is actually easy to pronounce, just remember it is... Full Bio

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