2:57pm: Williams will undergo surgery to repair torn ligaments in his left wrist and is expected to miss approximately four-to-six months, the Bulls announced in a press release.
If Williams can get back within four or five months, that’d put him on track to play again before the regular season ends. However, a six-month recovery would run into late April.
1:10pm: Bulls forward Patrick Williams is expected to be sidelined for the rest of the 2021/22 regular season after dislocating his left wrist, a source tells Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (Twitter links).
According to Wojnarowski, Williams sustained a perilunate dislocation and will soon undergo surgery. There’s hope that he’ll be able to return for the playoffs, but that’s not a sure thing, Woj adds.
The Bulls have yet to officially confirm Wojnarowski’s report, but head coach Billy Donovan admitted this afternoon that Williams’ injury is “pretty significant,” as K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago tweets. The injury occurred during Thursday’s game against the Knicks, when Williams was fouled by Mitchell Robinson on a drive to the basket and came down on his wrist (video link). Robinson was assessed with a Flagrant 1 on the play.
It’s a brutal turn of events for Williams, the No. 4 pick in the 2020 draft who was expected to be a key part of a revamped Bulls roster this season. Many of the team’s top scoring options – Zach LaVine, DeMar DeRozan, and Nikola Vucevic – aren’t great defenders, so Williams’ ability to slow down opposing scorers was considered especially valuable.
With Williams unavailable, Chicago’s defense and depth will be tested. As Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report tweets, Javonte Green, who has averaged just under 16 minutes off the bench in the first five games of the season, looks like the best bet to replace Williams in the starting five.