Jimmy Butler confirmed that he sprained his right ankle during Thursday’s loss in Oklahoma City and as a result, will miss at least the Bulls’ home game Saturday against Cleveland.
“It’s just unfortunate for me. Things can’t go my way.” Butler said after the team’s morning shootaround at the United Center. “But I guess it’s just part of the game also. It’s part of being an NBA player.”
Butler had previously missed nearly a month of action after suffering a right turf-toe injury in November, just prior to the Bulls’ “Circus Trip” and had only been back in the lineup for four games before his latest mishap.
“I remember just coming off a ball screen. I don’t know if I stepped on his [Thunder big man Nick Collison’s] foot or I just rolled it. Whatever it was, I just know it didn’t feel too good,” said Butler, who was able to do off-court work Saturday. “I don’t know what’s wrong with my feet this year, to tell you the truth. But I think I need to trade somebody’s right foot.”
The team’s starting shooting guard believes he could make a quick return.
“Definitely, I think so. We’ll see. I know I’m feeling a lot better from the game, though. So we’ll see how it goes,” said Butler, who cited the team’s less hectic upcoming schedule for the rest of December, as the Bulls will be off until Christmas Day in Brooklyn after the Cavaliers’ game, then again until a Dec. 28 home game against Dallas. “Lots of rehab, lots of treatment to get this thing back right. But our training staff’s really good at this, so they’ll get me back in a timely manner.”
Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau was also optimistic about Butler’s prognosis.
“He doesn’t have any swelling, which is a good sign,” the coach said. “That’s a positive. Hopefully it will be short.”
Thibodeau confirmed that both Butler and All-Star small forward Luol Deng, who had reoccurrence of his left Achilles’ injury and missed the loss to the Thunder, will miss Saturday’s game. Starting point guard Kirk Hinrich did participate in the morning shootaround and is a game-time decision against Cleveland.
“Kirk went through shootaround, so we’ll see how he feels tonight,” Thibodeau said. “Lu didn’t do shootaround, so he’s out.
“We just finished up a stretch of seven in 10. It’ll be good to have some practice time. That’s what we need.”