The Bulls expect to be without key reserve Alex Caruso until at least early next week, head coach Billy Donovan stated on Monday evening. Donovan told reporters, including Darnell Mayberry of The Athletic (Twitter link) that Caruso, who is dealing with a right hamstring strain, would be reevaluated in about a week.
According to Cody Westerlund of 670TheScore.com (Twitter link), Donovan said that Caruso’s hamstring injury isn’t considered significant, but the team wants to play it safe in order to ensure the veteran guard doesn’t make the minor ailment any worse.
Caruso’s offensive numbers during his first year in Chicago – 8.5 PPG and 4.1 APG on .442/.333/.857 – have been relatively modest through 23 games. However, the 27-year-old has been a major part of the Bulls’ top-five defense. He leads the league with 2.2 steals per game despite averaging a relatively modest 28.6 MPG.
The Bulls’ net rating is nine points better when Caruso plays (+8.9) than when he sits (-0.1).
With Caruso on the shelf and Coby White and Javonte Green in the NBA’s health and safety protocols, the Bulls figure to lean heavily on Lonzo Ball and Ayo Dosunmu in the backcourt. Shooting guard Matt Thomas also logged a season-high 19 minutes in Monday’s win over Denver.