Bulls Announce Tough Injury Update for Patrick Williams

Patrick Williams, Chicago Bulls

Getty Patrick Williams #44 of the Chicago Bulls.

Chicago Bulls forward Patrick Williams downplayed the walking boot he was spotted in ahead of the team’s win over the Portland Trail Blazers on January 28.

It appears what Williams deemed as a precautionary measure was more than just that.

“Injury Update: Patrick Williams has been diagnosed with acute bone edema in his left foot,” reads the team’s official statement in a post on X, formerly Twitter, on January 30. “He will immediately begin a period of active rest and be reassessed in approximately two weeks.”

Williams missed that game. It was his fourth of the season. This after the former No. 4 overall pick appeared in all 82 regular season games last season.

He is averaging 10.0 points, 3.9 rebounds, and 1.5 assists, shooting 39.9% from deep this year.

“Edema (or oedema) is the abnormal accumulation of fluid in certain tissues within the body,” eMedicineHealth’s Ruchi Mathur, MD wrote in September 2022. “The accumulation of fluid may be under the skin, usually in dependent areas such as the legs (peripheral edema, or ankle edema), or it may accumulate in the lungs (pulmonary edema).

Williams had been dealing with the issue throughout the season. The 6-foot-7 forward has now missed three of the Bulls’ last seven games.

Bulls Talked Patrick Williams Into Boot

“You always want to take caution,” Williams said via Chicago Tribune’s Julia Poe on January 28. “Just one of those situations where, whether I need it or not, the benefit of just deloading it for a couple days, whatever the case may be, definitely [out]weighed the look of it.

“I know what it looks like to wear a boot. Never want to have to just wear one of those … But they kind of spoke to me about just the benefit of wearing it and just kind of deloading it.”

Williams’ earliest return date would be February 12 against the Atlanta Hawks.

However, that assumes he is immediately ready to return after no activity for two weeks. The meeting is also the third in a four-game road trip. The Bulls also only get one game at home – against the Boston Celtics – before a road date against the New Orleans Pelicans.

It may be more likely that Williams will rejoin the team on the court sometime in the Bulls’ three-game homestand against the Detroit Pistons, Cleveland Cavaliers, and Milwaukee Bucks.

A key piece of the Bulls’ long-term plans, they are 3-1 without him this season.

Julian Phillips Set to See Increased Opportunity

Bulls rookie Julian Phillips, the No. 35 overall pick in the 2023 draft, took advantage of his increased opportunity with Williams and veteran Torrey Craig both sidelined with injuries, the latter also dealing with a foot injury.

Phillips, 20, had 11 points, two rebounds, one assist, and one block in the Bulls’ win over the Blazers.

“I’m real comfortable,” Phillips said of hitting a three to stretch the lead in the fourth quarter.

That is good for the Bulls. They will likely be relying on the youngster a lot more than they expected over the next few weeks. This could also lead to more playing time for 2022 first-round pick Dalen Terry.

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