Bulls rookie Wendell Carter Jr. expected to have surgery on left thumb

CHICAGO – Wendell Carter Jr. is going to miss some time.

The Bulls big man initially was diagnosed with an acute thumb sprain, but after meeting with hand specialists Friday surgery is recommended. If Carter opts to go under the knife, he is expected to be out 8-12 weeks.

Carter sat out his first game of the season Thursday in Denver, two days after he hurt his left thumb against the Lakers. Before the game, Carter was optimistic he’d play this weekend.

“During the game my adrenaline was going, so when it happened it was, ‘Oh, I just jammed my thumb, I’ll be fine.’ As the game went on, I came out and it kind of stiffened up a little bit and it started swelling up and hurting really bad where I couldn’t even make a fist,” Carter admitted. “After the game it really swelled up really, really bad and started hurting. What was kind of crazy to me was there was no contact involved at all in how I got hurt. It just felt like I jammed it a little bit on the floor (trying to break a fall).

“I feel like (I’ll play) the next game. I’m looking at Saturday, for sure,” Carter said. “Just get in some really good treatment these next couple days and I should be fine.”

The Bulls top draft pick averaged 10.3 points, 7 rebounds, 1.8 assists, and 1.3 blocks in 44 games this year.

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