The fallout from Bucks guard Grayson Allen’s flagrant-2 foul on Bulls guard Alex Caruso on Friday will be felt by Chicago for weeks.
Caruso suffered a right wrist fracture while falling awkwardly upon being fouled hard by Allen in the Bulls’ 94-90 loss to the Bucks at Fiserv Forum.
Caruso will undergo surgery early next week and then be re-evaluated in six to eight weeks, the Bulls announced Saturday.
The news is a devastating blow to the already shorthanded Bulls, who are also without guard Lonzo Ball (knee) for the next six to eight weeks, power forward Patrick Williams (wrist) until at least late in the regular season and star guard Zach LaVine (knee) for at least the next two games and likely a bit longer. It’s worth noting that the Bulls announced Caruso will be “re-evaluated” in six to eight weeks, meaning a timetable for a return to game action could well extend beyond that even if his recovery goes as hoped.
Caruso was in his second game back Friday after missing nearly a month with a foot injury and in COVID-19 protocols. Allen’s foul came with 5:45 left in the third quarter and left the Bulls incensed, with coach Billy Donovan calling it “really, really bad” and calling upon the NBA to conduct a review of the incident and presumably mete out further discipline. Allen was ejected for his actions.
“There are times there's flagrant fouls,” Donovan said late Friday. “But you know, for Alex to be in the air like and for him to take him down like that, you could’ve ended his career. And he has a history of this. And that to me was really dangerous. I really hope the league takes a hard look at something like that, because they could’ve really, really seriously hurt him.
“He could have really, really jeopardized his career in a lot of ways.”
It turns out Allen did seriously hurt Caruso, who initially thought he had avoided a significant injury, simply calling his wrist sore postgame. Caruso remained in the game and played to the end with his injury.
“I went up, was going to try to two-hand flush a little dunk in transition,” Caruso said. “Didn’t’ really know really what happened during the play, but afterward in looking at, the dude just grabbed me out of the air. Kind of bull****, I don’t know what else you can do about it.”
Caruso is averaging 8.4 points, 3.9 rebounds and 3.9 assists in 27.7 minutes in 28 games. He has also played sensational defense and been a key figure in the Bulls’ lineups that have had the most success.
If Caruso heals well and can return to game action not too long after the timetable of six to eight weeks to be re-evaluated, he'd be in line to return for the end of the regular season and be ready for the playoffs. Of course, that's assuming the recovery goes as planned, and the Bulls haven't had much luck with injuries lately.
Cody Westerlund is a sports editor for 670TheScore.com and covers the Bulls. Follow him on Twitter @CodyWesterlund.