Sunday, March 11, 2012

British Bull Deng sits out to rest wrist

Chicago's Luol Deng, set to lead Britain's basketball squad at this year's London Olympics, sat out the Bulls' 111-97 NBA victory over Utah to rest his injured left wrist.

Deng, who is of Sudanese heritage, tore a ligament in the wrist in a game in January. He opted not to have surgery, but after 17 straight games found the pain was hampering his play too much.

"We knew (rest) was going to be the case," Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said on Saturday. "Lu has a lot of toughness. He's going to play through pain. Medically if it makes sense for him not to play, he won't."

Deng may also sit out Monday against the New York Knicks, although Thibodeau said he was a valuable asset even when he was not 100 percent.

"He helps us even when he's not shooting well," Thibodeau said. "He guards basically four positions. You can count on him every night. He brings toughness and intangibles that lead to winning.

"Even though he has good statistics, you can't measure him statistically. He's just a winning player."

Deng is not the only Bulls player hurting in the lockout-shortened season.

C.J. Watson missed a fourth straight game with a sprained left ankle and Richard Hamilton is still sideliined by a right shoulder sprain.

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