“It sucks” – NBC Chicago
Williams Opens Up About Wrist Injury and Path to Mending: ‘It Sucks’ Originally Appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
When he first hit hardwood after an air collision with Mitchell Robinson in the Chicago Bulls’ Thursday night loss to the New York Knicks, Patrick Williams noticed stiffness in his left wrist.
As he advanced to the free throw line for two shots after Robinson’s foul was deemed glaring 1, the taped wrist since then shook uncontrollably. Williams winced and grimaced as he made – and made – both free throws, but left the contest moments later.
Williams said his back-to-locker mentality was that the injury would be a “bad sprain” at worst. But an MRI has revealed torn ligaments on his wrist that will require surgery and, according to the team, the second-year forward will be sidelined for four to six months. The operation is scheduled for October 31.
“It was just hard to understand,” Williams said of his reaction to the diagnosis. “I didn’t have much to say, honestly, when they told me. There is not much to say in this situation. “
Williams has had productive stints with USA Basketball Select and with the Bulls in the Summer League, during the offseason between his first and second NBA seasons. In September, he suffered a sprained ankle that cost him much of training camp and preseason, but returned to starting lineup for the first five games of the regular season.
The wrist injury presents another brutal layer of adversity and puts almost a full season of development at risk for the potential 20-year-old cornerstone.
“It sucks,” he said. “You just spent so much time in the summer. A lot of thoughts, a lot of emotions that come into play. It’s easy to see it as something bad, but I’m just trying not to think about it too much. and to move on. But it really sucks. There’s nothing good in being hurt, nothing good in being sidelined.
Williams spoke to reporters after the Bulls shootout on Saturday morning, with a cast covering his left forearm and a basketball stuck to his right hip. Since the diagnosis he has tried to change his mindset on how he can continue to be engaged with the team while rehabilitating himself. He spent Saturday’s session passing to his teammates as they shot at it.
“Whatever they say I can do, I definitely will,” said Williams, referring to the medics assigned to his case.
But a tough road awaits you. A return to the start of the team-sanctioned timeline would see him return at the end of February 2022, just after the All-Star break; a comeback would take place at the end of April, towards the end of the first round of the playoffs (which begins April 16).
“That’s definitely the goal, is to come back and play this season,” said Williams. “I think it depends on how the operation goes… It’s hard to come up with a plan before the operation. But tomorrow (October 31st) when we have the operation, I think the first week, from what they (the doctors) tell me, it’s just wrapping my mind, “This is my reality. And then the next week, it’s sort of developing that plan for the next month, and then the next month.
“Right now it’s just coming here (the Bulls installation), trying to stay as involved as possible, trying to stay as engaged as possible, talking to guys, choosing their brains, things like that.” . I just looked at how I can use this time to improve myself instead of looking at it like it’s so easy by default or like something bad.
Williams said he had received words of encouragement and advice from all of his teammates since the diagnosis. DeMar DeRozan, he added, even gifted him with a book called “The Undefeated Mind,” which the 13-year veteran said helped him recover from a groin injury earlier in. his career.
“A lot of guys have suffered injuries in their careers. We have a lot of guys who have been in the league for a long time. So if they haven’t had an injury like this, they’ve seen someone who has suffered an injury like this or they know someone who has suffered an injury like this, ”said Williams said. “They were all a great help to me, just communicating with me, just making sure I was feeling good. And it helps. Honestly, if you can’t be there, just knowing that they are supporting you, no matter what, helps.
Williams has repeatedly emphasized in his comments that he is focused on what is in front of him. In that vein, he said there was “no hard feelings” towards Robinson, who Williams said approached him during Thursday’s game to tell him he had no plans to. injure him with the hapless shooting contest. Williams was attempting a dunk on the coin.
“I gave him (Robinson) a dap, and that was about it,” Williams said. “It was a basketball game from what I saw. He was trying to block a shot but also trying to get out of the way.
The Bulls play the first game since losing their starting forward on Saturday to the Utah Jazz. An already slim frontcourt rotation will be even more strained, with Javonte Green likely to take on increased responsibilities. Tyler Cook, who has a two-way contract with the Windy City Bulls, has been recalled from the G League and is offering another wing / striker option with Troy Brown Jr., Derrick Jones Jr. and Alize Johnson.
Williams can’t wait to be back. But, for now, he is prepared for the road to recovery.
“With the career I want to have – I want to have a 10 to 15 year career – injuries are going to happen,” he said. “I knew it when I entered. You never really think about it. But it’s just something that comes with the game. So (I) just have to take it head on and attack it.
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