Saturday night's dynamic win over the Rockets came with a downer for Chicago, as Luol Deng left early with soreness in the leg. The early prognosis stuck Deng with a stress fracture, an injury that would have likely ended the forward's season.
But this morning brought good news for the player and team, as Deng has suffered no stress fracture and could be ready Tuesday for a showdown (ha!) against the Bobcats.
We noted the importance of Deng to the Bulls Sunday morning in discussing the worst-case scenario, so it's worth renewing those thoughts in discourse following from good news. So, um, Deng is important and good! Chicago sits a single game behind Milwaukee for the East's final playoff berth, with New Jersey also in the mix a half-game behind the Bulls. Indiana, New York, Charlotte and Toronto might also fancy themselves in the discussion, but there's really overwhelming bad circumstances (Indiana, with some key injuries) or two much ground to make up (Toronto, 5-1/2 behind Milwaukee) for these other squads.
That's still a bit amazing, though: in the East, only Washington is truly, unquestionably out of the playoff picture. Six Western teams could have been eliminated from the gun this season, if you're into the revisionist history that made the Clippers and Warriors obviously awful.
Luol Deng, Chicago Will Be Fine: MRI Reveals No Stress Fracture originally appeared on NBA FanHouse on Mon, 02 Mar 2009 15:15:00 EST . Please see our terms for use of feeds.