Carter will miss the rest of the season due to a left thumb injury.
Carter, who hasn't played since January 17th, is officially done for the season according to the Bulls. It appears as if the team is airing on the side of caution with their young center as his recovery, to this point, has gone according to plan. While his absence has been a short-term setback for the young team, Carter is on track to be ready for the beginning of the 2019-20 season.
Carter had a pin removed from his surgically repaired thumb Friday, K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune reports.
The news means that Carter's recovery from surgery has gone as expected up to this point, but the rookie center still looks on track to be sidelined until the latter half of March, if not the rest of the season. Robin Lopez has stepped in for Carter as the Bulls' new starting center and hit double figures in scoring in seven straight games, averaging 16.9 points (on 67.6 percent shooting from the field) during that span to go with 4.6 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.4 rejections in 27.0 minutes per contest.
Carter underwent successful surgery Monday to repair the ulnar collateral ligament of his left thumb.
The surgery was performed by Dr. John Fernandez and is expected to keep Carter sidelined for 8-to-12 weeks. A more concrete return date should come into focus as Carter progresses in his recovery, but it's possible that the rookie doesn't return before the end of the season. With Carter on the shelf, Bobby Portis and Robin Lopez should continue to cover the bulk of minutes at center, while Cristiano Felicio could also enter the fold, especially in the event Lopez is traded or bought out.
Carter is slated to undergo surgery Monday to repair his left thumb, Shams Charania of The Athletic reports.
Charania relays that Carter will be sidelined up to three months following the procedure, which essentially matches the 8-to-12-week recovery timeline that surfaced Friday after the big man met with a specialist. The Bulls should be able to pinpoint a more accurate return date for Carter a few weeks after the surgery, but if the three-month timeline proves realistic, it would likely spell an end to his rookie campaign. Bobby Portis and Robin Lopez have covered the bulk of the center minutes for the first two games of Carter's absence, but Cristiano Felicio could enter the picture at the position in the event Lopez is traded prior to the Feb. 7 deadline or bought out of his contract shortly thereafter.
Carter is expected to undergo surgery on his injured left thumb and will be out for 8-to-12 weeks following the procedure.
After the Bulls went back and forth on the health of Carter, the team's hand specialists have recommended that the rookie big man has surgery on the sprained thumb he hurt three days ago in Los Angeles. Carter can technically still opt to not have surgery, but K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune is reporting that all signs are pointing to the big man electing to undergo the procedure. With Carter set to miss at least two months, Bobby Portis and Robin Lopez are in line to see the biggest bump in minutes. Portis entered the starting lineup in Carter's absence Thursday night against the Nuggets.
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