Originally posted on Rumors and Rants  |  Last updated 5/9/13

Chicago Bulls forward Luol Deng is unlikely to play in Game 3 of his team’s second-round playoff series against the Miami Heat, but at the very least he seems to finally be getting healthy. Deng has been suffering through a bout with the flu that got so bad he was given a spinal tap to detect spinal meningitis (it came back negative). He has missed the last four games, mostly as a result of complications from the spinal tap. Perhaps more worrisome is the fact that Deng has lost a whopping 15 pounds since the start of his illness and he claims he was “really scared” by how his body reacted. The 28-year-old is reportedly still very weak and hasn’t been able to do much on the court. The Bulls dropped Game 2 of their series with the Heat 115-78, after getting a 93-86 win in Game 1. Without Deng in the lineup, Jimmy Butler has stepped up and taken on a huge role for Chicago. As of now it looks like the earliest Deng could return would be for Game 4 on Monday, but even that isn’t a guarantee. In fact, there’s a chance he may not play at all in the series. The aftermath of a spinal tap is no joke if the puncture hole (the size of a needle head) doesn’t heal correctly. That is more than likely what happened to Deng. Some fans have speculated that he’s just missing time as the result of the flu, but the fact that he had “complications from a spinal tap” proves that this is likely far more serious. If the puncture hole from a spinal tap doesn’t heal properly, spinal fluid can leak from the opening which causes all sorts of problems (as you would expect). It can take weeks to recover from something like that. The Bulls need Deng if they want to beat the Heat in a best of seven series. But they also don’t want him to come back unless he’s fully healthy. Deng is in his ninth year in the NBA, and he averaged 16.5 points, 6.3 rebounds and 3.0 assists this season.

MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Panthers owner Jerry Richardson being investigated for workplace misconduct

WATCH: Gronkowski refuses to discuss suspension, walks out of presser

Cousins complains refs unfairly target him on technicals

FIFA threatens to expel Spain from World Cup

Muhammad Wilkerson not traveling with Jets due to ‘coach’s decision’

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Floyd Mayweather says UFC offered him $1 billion

Porzingis: Knicks fans should show Carmelo ‘love’ in return

Pete Carroll, Sean Payton fined for going onto field

Hot mic catches what LeBron James said to Lonzo Ball

Carlos Santana reportedly signs three-year deal with Phillies

Browns GM: Anything short of competing for division title in 2018 'unacceptable'

Sports & Politics Intersect: Mr. Jones goes to Washington

The 'It's the most wonderful bowl of the year' quiz

NHL Weekender: Bolts keep striking, Preds on the hunt

Chargers are the AFC team no one wants to play in January

Donald Trump's quotes vs. the sports world in 2017

Five MLB teams that should trade for Manny Machado

The 'It's always chilly in Indiana' quiz

NFL puts safety entirely on players, again

Eight NFL teams who simply need to start over

Most important player on every team in each bowl matchup

NFL Week 15 Predictions

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Boogie, Z-Bo reach out and punch someone

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Yardbarker Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

Sports & Politics Intersect: Mr. Jones goes to Washington

NHL Weekender: Bolts keep striking, Preds on the hunt

The 'It's the most wonderful bowl of the year' quiz

Donald Trump's quotes vs. the sports world in 2017

Chargers are the AFC team no one wants to play in January

The 'It's always chilly in Indiana' quiz

NFL puts safety entirely on players, again

Most important player on every team in each bowl matchup

NFL Week 15 Predictions

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Boogie, Z-Bo reach out and punch someone

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker