The Bulls have confirmed a report that Kris Dunn suffered a medial collateral ligament (MCL) sprain in his right knee, the team announced today in a press release. The fourth-year guard sustained the injury in the first quarter of last Friday’s game.
According to the Bulls, Dunn will be re-evaluated following “an initial two-week phase of immobilization and physical therapy.” As his symptoms improve, the team will determine a more specific treatment plan and recovery timetable.
While Chicago isn’t committing to a timeline for Dunn’s return yet, K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago points out (via Twitter) that a similar injury cost him 23 games last season. Johnson cautions that the two injuries may not be equally severe, but notes that this will be a week-to-week issue, rather than day-to-day.
A former fifth overall pick, Dunn has seen his offensive production slip this season, averaging just 7.3 PPG and 3.4 APG on .444/.259/.741 shooting in 51 games (24.9 MPG). However, he has been the Bulls’ strongest perimeter defender and arguably one of the NBA’s best too — his 2.9 steals per 36 minutes ranks first in the league.
With 76 starts over the last two seasons in Chicago, Dunn is just six starts away from reaching the starter criteria, which would increase his qualifying offer this summer from $4.6MM to $7.1MM, tweets ESPN’s Bobby Marks. The Bulls would have to extend that QO in order to make Dunn a restricted free agent.