PHOENIX -- After concluding this seven-game road trip Saturday in
Sacramento, the Bulls return home Sunday. They will practice on Monday
and Tuesday before facing the Orlando Magic on Wednesday at the United
Tuesday will mark eight weeks since Carlos Boozer had surgery
on his broken right hand, and that's the optimal target date the power
forward said the team doctors have established for him to begin
participating in contact drills during practice.
But even if Boozer practices Tuesday -- which isn't a sure thing -- it's doubtful he'll be ready to play against the Magic.
Boozer will need several practices to develop a rhythm after being
idle for so long. It's likely he won't see any game action until at
least Dec. 10 or 11 when the Bulls host the Los Angeles Lakers and
Honestly, I'd much rather see Carlos Boozer hold off his return if it means he'll be truly 100% when he comes back. The way the Chicago Bulls, and his replacement, Taj Gibson, are playing, they can wait until Boozer gets completely healthy before he rejoins the team.
Boozer has a history of injury problems, so it would be best for him, and the Bulls, if he's honest with the team and comes back at full health. It would really be a bad way to start his Bulls tenure if he comes back, and then re-injures his broken hand/pinkie.
Strategy-wise, I wouldn't bring back Boozer against the L.A. Lakers, since their size and length have given Boozer trouble over the years. Bringing Boozer back against a small Minnesota Timberwolves team makes the most sense.
Considering the Bulls play at home against both teams, it wouldn't be surprising if the Bulls want to ease Boozer back and have him make his Bulls debut in front of the United Center crowd at full strength for the game against the Timberwolves.
There's no doubt the Bulls will need Boozer come playoff time to compete for a title, but for now, they're surviving just fine without the two-time All-Star.
The Bulls' next game will be on Friday night, which will give the team a day of rest and recuperation from two hard-fought games on back-to-back nights.