Bulls' Chandler Hutchison has fractured toe

CHICAGO -- Bulls rookie Chandler Hutchison has a fractured right toe, the team announced Saturday. He will be placed in a walking boot for two to four weeks and be re-evaluated after the All-Star break.

According to the team, the injury was to a sesamoid bone in his right foot and occurred during Wednesday's game against Atlanta. Hutchison said the injury occurred during the final seconds of the game when Justin Anderson tried to dunk.

Hutchison, who appeared to land awkwardly on the play, described the sequence as a "bozo play" because the Hawks had already sealed the win.

"Anderson went up for the dunk or whatever, [and] I kind of felt weird [afterward]," Hutchison said before Sunday's game. "I thought it was just a jam, like you jam your finger, you tape it up and play through it. And then it was just hurting a little more after the Clipper game, so we checked it out."

Hutchison had an X-ray taken after Chicago's loss to the LA Clippers on Friday, and he underwent an MRI on Saturday to determine the severity of the injury and a timetable for his return. Hutchison said that though he played 41 minutes, he "didn't really know anything was out of the ordinary." The 22-year-old said that, considering that he wasn't in serious pain, finding out the toe was fractured was surprising. Hutchison, who is in a walking boot, said it's already feeling better.

"The boot helps a lot," he said. "It takes that stress off putting some power on and bending that toe, which is kind of the thing that's going to continue to prolong the pain."

Hutchison, who matched his career-high 12 points on Friday, became a starter after Justin Holiday was traded to the Memphis Grizzlies. Hutchison also recorded 12 rebounds against the Clippers, notching his first career double-double.

Hutchison was selected 22nd overall by the Bulls in the 2018 draft. Through 44 games, the small forward is averaging 5.2 points and 4.2 rebounds, and he has quickly become a favorite of Bulls coach Jim Boylen.

"I like his defense," Boylen said of Hutchison in early January. "I like his length. I like his rebounding."

Zach LaVine (ankle) and Lauri Markkanen (hip) played in Sunday's loss to the Cavaliers, but Markkanen said afterward that he was still experiencing some soreness. Markkanen told ESPN that the discomfort was nothing he couldn't play through.

The Bulls are already shorthanded. Wendell Carter Jr. had surgery on the ulnar collateral ligament of his left thumb on Jan. 21 and is expected to be out eight to 12 weeks. Denzel Valentine had season-ending ankle surgery earlier this season.

"It always seems like the worst timing," Hutchison said. "Especially, as a group, how this year's gone with guys. And next guy up is always ready. That's how this year's been. Next guy up, and we're gonna do what we can."
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