Deng back among starting five, while Johnson sits


Apr 3

By Adam Fluck

After missing 11 games with a strained right calf, Luol Deng returned to action in a reserve role during the Bulls’ win over Washington on Friday. He scored 14 points on 6-of-8 shooting and will return to the starting lineup on Saturday with the Charlotte Bobcats in town.

“He feels good and he played well last night,” said Bulls Head Coach Vinny Del Negro on Saturday. “There’s no time to rest right now, we’ve got to get going here.”

Deng reported some soreness after Friday’s game, but felt fine overall and will be monitored by the team against the Bobcats.

“If it starts tightening up on him, we’ll get him out of there so he doesn’t tear anything or hurt himself further,” Del Negro said of Deng. “Hopefully once the adrenaline is flowing and he’s loose, he’ll get into a groove, I’ll give him some rest when he needs it, and manage the game that way.”

James Johnson, on the other hand, will miss Saturday’s contest with a right foot strain.

“James has been battling through some serious pain,” said Del Negro. “We’ll have to go with the guys that are healthy as always. We’re starting to get a little healthier, so hopefully that will continue.”

Jordan on the scene as Bobcats owner

Former Bull Tyson Chandler spoke about Michael Jordan and whether he has been more visible since becoming the Bobcats’ new owner.

“I see him everywhere,” said Chandler. “He’s been at practices and every game. He’s around.”

The NBA Board of Governors unanimously approved Jordan’s purchase of the team from Robert L. Johnson on March 17.

When asked if he was surprised about how fiery Jordan has been during games, Chandler replied: “No, that’s Jordan and he’s competitive. Anybody who knows anything about him knows he’s a competitor. If you’re a competitor, you’re a competitor. It’s hard to hold back. He’s passionate about us and he’s passionate about winning.”

Audio—Bulls Head Coach Vinny Del Negro with the latest on the team’s injuries and facing the Charlotte Bobcats (04.03.10):

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