MEMPHIS — Luol Deng will miss his fifth consecutive game with a left Achilles’ injury Monday night, when the Bulls take on the Grizzlies, according to Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau.
“He’s not going to go tonight,” Thibodeau said of the All-Star small forward. “He said he’s feeling a lot better. He’s real close, so we’ll see where he is tomorrow.”
The Bulls host Toronto at the United Center in the second half of a back-to-back set of games Tuesday evening.
Thibodeau said the Bulls were being cautious with Deng’s injury, which reoccurred after he missed four games earlier in December with the same ailment, “Because of what happened. When you look at it, he came back and he had a setback, and then he had to sit again. So we want to make sure that he’s good and once that occurs, we’ll move forward.”
Mike Dunleavy Jr. will start in Deng’s place.
Thibodeau, who missed the Bulls’ morning shootaround at FedEx Forum while in hos home state of Connecticut for his late father’s funeral, said it wasn’t a difficult decision to coach the game after the tragic loss.
“No, not really,” he explained. “I think it’s something my father would have wanted and our family, pretty much once I saw that they were good, I felt good about it.”