When practice ended Thursday at the Berto Center, Larry Hughes was on the sideline with his right arm in a sling. But he said an MRI exam showed no structural damage and the shoulder doesn't feel all that bad.
So he's optimistic that he may be sidelined for around 2 weeks, far less than the 6-8 weeks that was reported in some places. Of course, we don't know if Hughes' prognosis is realistic or not. He is planning to have test done Friday where dye is injected into the shoulder and another MRI is taken.
“It's really weird that its not bothering me as much as it should,” Hughes said. “Right now, it's just kind of sore. It just feels like I need a couple days rest.”
Hughes was injured in the third quarter of Wednesday's 85-75 preseason win at Minnesota. He dove for a loose ball and Timberwolves forward Mike Miller appeared to land on Hughes' right arm as both players hit the floor.
He asked the Minnesota team doctor to pop his shoulder back in place right there on the court, but they took him to a back room first. Hughes said the doctor pressed his foot against the rib cage and was able to ease the shoulder back into place.
“It kind of slid rather than popped, so I think that was a good thing,” Hughes said. “When it was put back in place, it kind of slid back in place. I think that's kind of key to how I'm feeling today.”
I know plenty of Bulls fans wouldn't mind seeing Hughes stay on the bench for a while, but I thought he showed at times during preseason that he can help the team. He's the oldest player on the roster, so he has a little veteran savvy that can be valuable on defense. Of course, he needs to attack the rim and run the floor on the break, rather than settling for the long jumpers, which are not a specialty.
GORDON STILL OUT
Ben Gordon did not practice again on Thursday, still resting a jammed left toe. By the way, the Bulls have been calling this an injury to the right big toe, but Gordon insisted it's the left one that is hurting. Both Gordon and coach Vinny Del Negro expressed hope that Gordon will play in Friday's preseason finale against Milwaukee, although Del Negro also sounded a little impatient.
“He's had plenty of time to heal and if he's still sore, he's still sore,” Del Negro said following Thursday's practice. “That's a day-to-day situation and hopefully he'll start feeling better. We need to get some work done.
“I've given him a couple days off here extra, being more precautionary. Ben's out here working a little bit just trying to get his wind, but nothing like playing in games. So if we can get him out there, I'd like to. But I don't want to get him out there and then set him back a little bit, too.”
Gordon has played in just one of seven preseason games.
ROSTER CUT TO 13
In other news, the Bulls cut Roger Powell and Michael Ruffin on Thursday. Powell was no surprise and Ruffin didn't help his cause by missing all but the first day of training camp with a sprained ankle. The Bulls are likely to add another big man soon. If no one pops up on the waiver wire they like, it's conceivable Ruffin could get another chance.