source: Nick Friedell | ESPNChicago.com
CHICAGO -- Luol Deng continues to struggle with pain in his left wrist and admitted after Thursday night's loss to the Orlando Magic that he may have to sit out a few games to get that pain under control again.
Deng, who initially tore a ligament in the wrist during a Jan.18 contest against the Charlotte Bobcats, scored just five points against the Magic, going just 1-for-9 from the field.
He decided not to have surgery immediately after the injury because he wanted to help the Bulls contend for a championship this season and he wanted to play for Team Great Britain during the Olympic Games in London this summer. The surgery, which would have likely put Deng out for at least three to four months, is still not something he wants to consider at the present time, despite the fact that his game appears to be suffering.
"I said it from the start, I'm not taking that route," Deng told reporters after the game. "I think mostly, it's going to be rest. But it's getting better. It's definitely better than when I first did it and when I first came back. There was a period of time where it felt great. The last I don't know how many games, the pain is kind of high again. I've just got to kind of control it and monitor it."
Deng, who usually wears a huge ice pack on the wrist before and after games, will continue to see what the best course of action is as far as recovery goes.
"It's a lot of stuff," he said of what is bothering him on the floor. "It is what it is, I've just got to find ways to adjust my games. I've proven I can play with it. I know I can play with it. Some days, it's going to feel great. Some days, it's going to feel terrible. You've just got to bring (the pain) down."
Deng, who has missed seven games because of the injury already this year, said he was "definitely" playing in the Olympics and would delay surgery until at least after the London Games. His teammates and coaches understand that he is playing through pain.
"There are going to be some nights where he does not shoot as well," Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau said after Thursday's loss. "We count on him every night for his defense, his playmaking, his toughness. He has shown the capability of playing well when he doesn't shoot well. We have to recognize that when things are not going well there are still other ways of helping the team."
Bulls guard Derrick Rose doesn't think Deng will have to miss much time, but he knows the wrist his bothering his teammate.
"Tonight I think he was grabbing at it a little bit," Rose said. "But he still played. I don't really know how he's feeling right now, but I know he should be able to play through it."
Nick Friedell covers the Bulls for ESPNChicago.com and ESPN 1000.