Chicago Bulls center Wendell Carter Jr. will miss at least the next four weeks after an MRI confirmed a severe right quad contusion, the team announced Tuesday.
Carter Jr., who was injured during a Jan. 20 practice session and has missed the past three games, will continue the rehabilitation process before receiving another re-evaluation.
Bulls coach Billy Donovan on Tuesday said Carter is “feeling better” but won’t be able to do much conditioning or anything until he’s fully healed. The injury occurred when Carter took a knee to the lower thigh when colliding with teammate Denzel Valentine during 5-on-5 drills.
“I really feel bad for him. He’s obviously battled some things over this early part of his career in the NBA and he’s had some significant time loss for different situations,” Donovan said. “I think Wendell is a great guy, he’s a good team guy. He’s worked hard to get himself ready. It was just kind of a freak thing that happened in practice and I just feel bad he’s gotta miss the amount of time he’s gonna miss.”
Carter was a key piece to the lineup, averaging a career-best 12.8 points with 8.0 rebounds in 14 starts. Throughout his career, the third-year center has yet to play more than 44 games in a season while battling thumb, abdomen and ankle injuries throughout his career.
“We all know how much he wants to be out there with us,” rookie Patrick Williams said. “He’s just a guy that loves to play the game, so it’s tough for him. Tough to see him go down, but we’ve got pros on this team and we know that the next guy has to step up.”
Donovan said he was able to talk with Carter during Tuesday’s film session.
“It’s a lot. And I think for him, we’ve got to figure out ways to continually keep him engaged with the team,” Donovan said. “I think we’ve got to find ways, although his conditioning is going to be limited in terms of what he can and can’t do while this heals.”