Bulls' Patrick Williams sidelined by left foot injury, more tests to come

Bulls' Patrick Williams sidelined by left foot injury, more tests to come originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

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PORTLAND, Ore. --- Patrick Williams missed his fourth game of the season but first with left midfoot soreness Sunday night, and the Chicago Bulls forward will undergo further testing and imaging when the team returns home on Monday.

Williams, who is wearing a walking boot to stabilize the injury, has been dealing with right ankle and left foot issues for much of this season. This is the first time the left foot soreness has advanced to the point where it cost him a game.

"It was just gradual. It’s been awhile," Williams said. "I’ve been trying to do maintenance on it, do pregame work on it, postgame work on it. That Laker game kind of hit the peak for me.

"You always want to take caution. It’s one of those situations where the benefit of it, whether I needed it or not, kind of outweighed the look of it. Naturally, I’d consider, ‘Hell no.’ I know what it looks like to wear a boot. You never want to just have to wear one of those. But they spoke to me about the benefit of wearing it and kind of de-loading it for a couple days."

Williams visited a doctor in Los Angeles, but coach Billy Donovan said no concrete timeline for Williams' absence formed off that. Williams will meet with Bulls' team physicians for a potential bone scan and further tests and imaging.

"(The Los Angeles doctor) just recommended keeping his foot immobilized for right now. The biggest thing we’ve got to do is bring him back to Chicago and there will be a lot more imaging just to see where he’s at, but I think the pain is too great right now for him to play," Donovan said. "Up to now I think it was something he was managing for quite some time, but it wasn’t something where the pain was so significant that he had to miss time. This is the first time it’s gotten to this place.”

Williams played all 82 games last season for the first time in his young career.

"It’s definitely something you don’t take for granted. It’s a lot of luck that has to be involved in it to do that. A lot of routine work and maintenance work and luck too as well. Good luck, bad luck, whatever the case may be," Williams said. "I’m here now. I’m trying to do everything I can to make sure I feel as close to 100 percent as possible."

The Bulls already are without Zach LaVine and Torrey Craig. Donovan said pregame that rookie Julian Phillips would draw playing time against the Trail Blazers. But the Bulls' undersized ways will continue without Craig and now Williams unless Donovan leans heavily on the double big-man look of Nikola Vucevic and Andre Drummond.

As for Williams, he's trying to stay positive.

"Mentally is the most important aspect. I’m taking it one day at a time, one game at a time," he said. "As a professional and as a competitor, my job is get back out there as soon as possible, whenever that is. Hopefully, it’s soon."

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