Chicago Bulls' Hutchison may not return before season runs out

                                                                                                                                                                                                   
  • Chicago Bulls forward Chandler Hutchison (15) passes the ball away from Atlanta Hawks forward John Collins, top left, during the second half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday Jan. 23, 2019, in Chicago.

    Chicago Bulls forward Chandler Hutchison (15) passes the ball away from Atlanta Hawks forward John Collins, top left, during the second half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday Jan. 23, 2019, in Chicago.

 
 

Chicago Bulls rookie Chandler Hutchison is making progress with his right-toe injury, but whether he plays again this season remains in doubt.

Head trainer Jeff Tanaka provided an update on Hutchison's injury before Friday's game. He said they did a follow-up scan earlier this week, which showed good healing of the sesamoid bone, but they're going to wait two weeks before the next scan.

Hutchison last played Jan. 25. He actually suffered the injury two days earlier but thought he was OK and played 41 minutes in the next game against the Los Angeles Clippers.

"Based on what they saw it was positive in that it was something that won't linger once it heals," Hutchison said. "Just like a bone once it heals you are good, there are no lingering issues. So that's a good thing."

Hutchison is still hoping to play again this season. He played in 44 games, starting 14, and averaged 5.2 points. Fellow rookie Wendell Carter Jr. was lost for the season due to thumb surgery and last played Jan. 15.

"It was a weird coincidence that both of us got hurt and are having to sit out a big chunk of our first year," Hutchison said. "Things happen early in your career, and if there's one thing you can take is to learn how your body responds and maybe doing things to make your body stronger to prevent future injury, and that's something we've tried to do."

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Casey praises rival:

Detroit coach Dwane Casey has an interesting spot in Bulls history. He was the runner-up to Vinny Del Negro when the Bulls were looking for a coach in 2008 and were turned down by Mike D'Antoni.

Considering the Bulls fired Del Negro after two years and Casey had a long, successful run in Toronto, there may have never been a Tom Thibodeau era if the Bulls had decided on Casey in '08. Before Friday's game, Casey was effusive about the current Bulls' bright future.

"They are one of the top young talented teams in the league," Casey said. "I thought the Atlanta game was one of the best games I've seen in a long, long time, the four-overtime game. The future is bright for this team. They play hard, they compete. Very talented, athletic, long.'

"So they're going to have a lot of fun here in Chicago, unfortunately for people coming in here, for a long period of time."

Casey said he had a chance to watch Zach LaVine work out on the West Coast last summer, so he's not surprised at his progress.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Boylen not scouting for future:

Bulls coach Jim Boylen was a college head coach for five years at the University of Utah but said he hasn't spent much time scouting potential draft prospects from afar.

"Last year on a couple road trips, we got back from shootaround and I was in my hotel room kind of hanging out and Wendell (Carter Jr..) was on, Duke was on," Boylen said. "Just happenstance I got to watch him play and have a little feel for him. So that was kind of fun that it all worked out and we ended up picking him.

"I have not watched much college basketball. I watched the Michigan-Michigan State game a couple weeks ago. But I haven't watched enough. I have a lot of friends in college basketball, so I correspond with a lot of people."

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