At this point, talking about the Bulls’ injuries is passé, like considering Cameron Diaz an up-and-coming actress or using Cameron Diaz as a simile. But sometimes, you read something Bulls injury-related, happen to operate a basketball blog and just have to pass it on. This is one of those times.
“I did some individual work (Saturday) and I started throwing up a little bit. I couldn’t finish the workout,” Deng said. “I tried to practice (Sunday) and the same thing. I just warmed up and couldn’t get through practice. My body, my system is not reacting well to anything I’m doing right now.”
And also this.
Deng said he’s having trouble eating solid food and has regained only two of the 15 pounds he lost.
“Just because you get a spinal tap doesn’t mean (the flu) goes away,” he said. “I had that and then the reaction to (the spinal tap). It just sucks, man. It’s not like an injury where you can just play through it and it slows you down a little bit. It’s just one of those things where, not even basketball-wise, just doing regular stuff is hard.”
Oh, and also this.
Deng attended Game 3 but said he watched from the locker room because he didn’t want to cough on teammates.
OK, so just as a baseline, here is the situation — Luol Deng had some strain of the flu that presented with viral meningitis symptoms, which led to a spinal tap that caused him to lose 15 pounds, still has him unable to gain weight or eat solid food, and has him avoiding his teammates so that he doesn’t cough on them, which might lead to them going through the same thing. Also, all of this started happening less than two weeks ago, which is basically no time in flu land.
And that’s exactly why this part is so bonkers. From a different Chicago Tribune article:
Deng has yet to practice since experiencing serious complications from a spinal tap.
“He’s still not feeling well so we’ll see tonight but most likely out,” Thibodeau said. “He really didn’t do much.”
And this from the first one:
Indeed, Deng continues to sound doubtful for the remainder of the series, even though he admitted he talked to Thibodeau about giving “five or 10 minutes or whatever to give these guys a little break.”
So the guy who lost 15 pounds in like six minutes and who cannot be around his friends because he might cough on them is still getting a “we’ll see” from his coach because said coach would be OK with him giving “five or 10 minutes” to give some of the other players “a little break.” This is insanity, and that’s before getting in to the part where Deng is still dealing with multiple injuries. Deng didn’t want to be around teammates because he doesn’t want to cough on them, but the Bulls are still trying to figure out if he can play in a game. Madness, but also maybe a weird sort of biological warfare.
Kudos to Deng for trying to play through something that sounds absolutely terrible, but maybe it is time to just chill and shut it down for the season. That’d pretty much be the antithesis of how the Bulls have handled injuries this season, but when a guy can’t eat, gain weight or breathe without worrying about infecting his entire team with an illness that causes all these things, it might be worth shutting him down for the remainder of the season. I didn’t get in to medical school and am therefore not a doctor, but I’d say being sickly, weakened and injured is a pretty solid reason to start the summer early.