Bulls' Alex Caruso to have wrist surgery, be reassessed in 6-8 weeks

·4 min read

Caruso to have wrist surgery, be reassessed in 6-8 weeks originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

Alex Caruso will undergo surgery early next week to address a fractured right wrist sustained during Friday night's loss to the Milwaukee Bucks and be re-evaluated in six to eight weeks, the Chicago Bulls announced Saturday afternoon.

The injury stems from a hard foul committed on Caruso by Bucks guard Grayson Allen in that game's third quarter. As Caruso skied for a fastbreak dunk, Allen ripped him out of the air with both hands, leading to a frightening fall:

Allen was assessed a Flagrant 2 for the play and ejected from the game. Caruso remained in the contest, eventually logging 24 minutes in line with the playing-time restriction he was under after recently returning from a foot sprain and bout with COVID-19. But he admitted after the game that the wrist was "a little banged up" and affected his shooting (Caruso went 3-for-11 from the floor and 1-for-6 from 3).

“I went up. I was going to try to two-hand flush, a little dunk in transition,” Caruso said of the play. “I didn’t really know what happened during the play. But afterward, looking at it, I mean, dude just grabbed me out of the air. It’s kind of bulls—t. I don’t know what else you can do about it. I’m just glad that I didn’t have any major scary injuries right away.”

A six to eight week re-evaluation timeline from the date of the surgery, which has yet to be finalized, would mean that Caruso will be reassessed in mid-to-late March — not necessarily return. The NBA Playoffs begin on April 16.

Add him to the list of Bulls players on the long-term injury shelf, along with Lonzo Ball, who will miss six to eight weeks after undergoing knee surgery some time next week, and Patrick Williams, who also sustained a severe wrist injury on a flagrant foul early in the season. Zach LaVine, Javonte Green and Derrick Jones Jr. are all progressing through their respective rehabs, but remain sidelined as well.

Head coach Billy Donovan began his forceful response to the Allen foul by citing the fact that the Bulls had already lost Williams to a similar play in October. In his comments, he also called on the NBA to look into further punishment for Allen.

The league is still reviewing the incident and does take into account any injuries suffered by the offended player when weighing potential discipline.

"We lost Patrick on a flagrant foul to a pretty significant injury, and I said this after [that] game, I think it was against New York and Mitchell Robinson. I think Mitchell Robinson was trying to make a legitimate play on the basketball, it happened to be a flagrant," Donovan said.

"But for Alex to be in the air like that, and to take him down like that, he (Allen) could have ended his career. And he has a history of this. That, to me, it was really dangerous. And I really hope the league takes a hard look at something like that. Because he could have really, really seriously hurt him."

Perhaps the league will take a closer look, given the severity of Caruso's diagnosis. And it's not as if Allen showed remorse. Cameras caught him smirking as he strode off the court following his ejection, and at no point while Caruso was being looked at did Allen check on him or apologize.

"No," Caruso flatly said when asked if Allen approached him after the play, a dynamic that further inflamed the Bulls' frustrations.

"It's a physical game and there's plays at the basket and there's a lot of contact and things like that. There's a right way you can go up there and have physicality and do that," Donovan added. "But not that way, in my opinion."

And with that, the Bulls' brutal string of injury misfortune continues.

RELATED: Donovan, Caruso rip Allen's flagrant foul

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