Hamilton has tear, but may not be out long


Dec 2

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It turns out Richard Hamilton tore his plantar fascia in his left foot late in the third quarter of the Bulls Saturday night win over the 76ers, according to Bulls sources.

But that’s sort of the good news.

Plantar fasciitis, the painful inflammation on the bottom of the foot, can last months. At times, treatment will include a tear so the healing can begin more quickly. Thus, this is not generally considered as serious an injury and Hamilton could play again in a week or two.

Richard HamiltonThe Bulls are believed to be treating a return as the symptoms ease. When James Johnson was with the Bulls, he suffered a similar injury and was out about a week.

With Hamilton out, the Bulls will rely on Marco Belinelli and Jimmy Butler to play shooting guard. Although no one ever wants a player to be injured, it will be an opportunity for Belinelli to get more shots and opportunities. In recent games, coach Tom Thibodeau has been relying more on Hamilton, thus limiting Belinelli’s playing time. Belinelli is averaging just five points in 14.7 minutes, about seven fewer than his career average, but still shooting more than 40 percent on three pointers.

It also will be a further opportunity for Butler, who has been coming on strong and has moved solidly into the rotation as a defensive replacement. Butler has shown signs of offense, but he has seemed reluctant to shoot at times given his role. This might be an opportunity for him to expand his game. Butler is averaging 5.4 points in 15.9 minutes. He is shooting 52.9 percent, and 14.3 percent on threes. But he’s only attempted seven threes this season, and his first made was an important one in the fourth quarter against the 76ers Saturday.

There is no word on whether the Bulls intend to add another player, though he likely would play behind Belinelli and Butler. Local players Jannero Pargo and Quentin Richardson are not currently with teams.

After Saturday’s game, Hamilton said when he went up he heard something “pop.”

“I was able to put a little weight on it, so I could go back in the game,” Hamilton said. “It wasn’t 100 percent or anything like that, but I felt I could help the team. When I jumped up, as soon as I came up I felt something pop in the bottom of my foot. Yeah (it scared me). The simple fact no one was around. They always say the worst injuries are when nobody is around and you don’t fall down. When it happened it scared me. I felt I did not want to put pressure on it, but it was not a whole lot of pain. He (Thibodeau) did not want to put me back at first. But I’m like, ‘I’m good, I’m good.’ I won’t know what it is until I get an MRI. We’ll see (Sunday).”

Hamilton wasn’t available for comment.

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