All the hope surrounding the Chicago Bulls just took a punch to the gut.
Carlos Boozer fractured the fifth metacarpal bone in his hand on Saturday, an injury that will require surgery and keep him out eight weeks, the team announced.
The injury happened on an off day for the Bulls. ESPN is reporting that Boozer tripped over a bag in his home and fell, causing the injury.
Boozer missed a lot of games with the Jazz (more than a quarter of the games the last six years combined) but played in 78 games last season and 81 three seasons ago. He has said that these tended to be fluke things, not chronic injuries. Breaking your hand? It’s another fluke. Maybe Boozer is just chronically unlucky.
It’s a setback for a Bulls team a lot is expected of. Boozer — at $75 million for five years — is supposed to bring the inside scoring presence the Bulls have needed to take the next step forward.
Now he won’t be doing that for about the first five weeks of the season, give or take. That may be at least 15 games.
Taj Gibson likely will move into the starting rotation, meaning Tom Thibodeau will start with the same front line that Vinny Del Negro had.