Bulls fear Williams out for the year with left wrist injury
Bulls forward Patrick Williams could be done for the season after suffering a left wrist injury in Thursday's loss to New York.
While coach Billy Donovan told reporters Friday the injury was "significant," ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski tweeted that Williams was diagnosed with a perilunate dislocation, would need surgery and will likely miss the rest of the regular season. There's some hope he could be ready to return if the Bulls make the playoffs.
The Bulls later released an injury update which said he he'll have surgery to repair torn ligaments in the left wrist and is expected to miss 4-6 months. According to that timetable, the best-case scenario could see Williams returning before the end of the season.
Williams landed hard on his left wrist when he drove to the basket and was fouled hard by Knicks center Mitchell Robinson, who was given a flagrant foul. The play happened 1:40 into the third quarter, Williams made both free throws, stayed in the game for another minute, then checked out and headed straight to the locker room.
Williams was off to a quiet start this season, averaging 6.6 points and 2.2 rebounds. But he missed most of training camp after spraining his ankle during a workout on Sept. 15.
This is a blow not only to the Bulls' depth, but also Williams' development as a player. He's still just 20 years old in his second pro season after being chosen with the No. 4 overall pick in the 2020 draft.
The Bulls were already small on the front line and this injury doesn't help.
Donovan started 6-4 Javonte Green at power forward in preseason while Williams was out, and Green played well. This will probably open a rotation slot for forward Derrick Jones Jr., a sixth-year veteran who has played just two minutes so far this season.
Donovan also used backup center Tony Bradley in the rotation Thursday for the first time. The Bulls will be facing some taller teams in the coming days, with defensive player of the year Rudy Gobert and Utah visiting the United Center on Saturday.
The Bulls face Philadelphia and Joel Embiid twice next week.