Bulls' Carter To Miss 4-6 Weeks With Ankle Sprain

By 670 The Score
(670 The Score) Bulls starting center Wendell Carter Jr. is expected to miss four to six weeks with what the team has termed a "severe" right ankle sprain.

An MRI and a CT scan revealed the severity of Carter's injury, which he suffered when he landed awkwardly in a loss at Dallas on Monday evening. In the aftermath, Carter acknowledged it was the worst pain that he has experienced on the basketball court.

Given the timeline of four to six weeks, Carter is expected to miss somewhere between the next 15 and 18 games.

The loss of the 20-year-old Carter is a big blow for the Bulls, as he has been one of their few bright spots in an ugly season. Carter has been the anchor of a Bulls defense that has surprised many with the eighth-best efficiency rating in the NBA. Carter's smarts and ability to move his feet have allowed the Bulls to utilize an aggressive scheme that often blitzes screen-and-rolls. His absence may force the Bulls to reconfigure a bit how they play defensively.

Carter is averaging 11.7 points, 9.9 rebounds and 0.9 blocks in 30.0 minutes across 37 games. Chicago's loss at New Orleans on Wednesday marked the first time that Carter had missed a game this season. He played 44 games as a rookie, with his season getting cut short by a thumb injury that necessitated surgery.

In another injury update, Bulls forward Otto Porter Jr. is showing "ongoing bone healing" in his injured left foot, according to MRI and CT scans, the team said. Porter will continue a gradual increase of non-basketball activities.

Porter hasn't played since Nov. 6 with what was initially called a foot strain before a subsequent MRI on Nov. 19 revealed bone bruising. He has since suffered from bone edema in his left foot, the team revealed in early December.

Porter is eyeing a return around the All-Star break in mid-February, the Athletic has reported. He averaged 11.2 points on 41.7 percent shooting in nine games before getting hurt.