In a relatively innocuous tweet earlier this afternoon, the Bulls announced that rookie big man Wendell Carter Jr. hurt his left thumb in last night’s loss to the Lakers in Los Angeles. However, several reports surfacing since then indicated that the injury to Carter’s thumb may have been far worse than the team’s tweet originally let on.
Minutes after the Bulls’ initial tweet on the subject, K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune reported that there was internal concern that Carter’s thumb injury was “significant” and the the team was waiting on further test results. He followed that report up with a tweet that the Bulls hadn’t ruled out a broken thumb, which would have required surgery.
Meanwhile, the Chicago-Sun Times reported that Carter was believed to have suffered an injury known as gamekeeper’s thumb, which generally requires a recovery time of 4-6 weeks, depending on the severity of the damage to the ulnar collateral ligament (UCL).
However, Johnson is now reporting that the aforementioned further test results have come back and that Carter’s UCL is intact, meaning the thumb is simply sprained and will not require surgery. As the previous reports indicated, the Bulls initially feared Carter could miss weeks, so the fact that they can now call their prized rookie day-to-day is a huge relief for the team during an otherwise injury-plagued season.