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:
Is Anthony Davis really the best big man from UK in the NBA?
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Greg Hardy told police someone slipped cocaine in his wallet

Report: LSU will ‘gauge the interest’ of Saban, Meyer, others

Dustin Byfuglien didn’t enjoy the World Cup of Hockey

Marlins’ Dee Gordon emotional after lead-off HR

Patrice Bergeron’s worries go away with Brad Marchand’s contract signed

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Gabbert in danger of losing starting job to Kaepernick

John Fox won't commit to Cutler as starter when healthy

Report: Austin Sefarian-Jenkins claimed by Jets off waivers

Dez Bryant to undergo MRI after suffering knee injury

Report: Adrian Peterson determined to play again in 2016

Report: McDaniels plans to leave Pats, pursue head-coaching job

What the NBA (and world) looked like before Kevin Garnett, Kobe Bryant and Tim Duncan

A fond farewell to Vin Scully

So where will the ACC football championship be played?

Gordon: Hitting HR for Fernandez ‘best moment of my life’

Box Score: 9/27 - Goodbyes, farewells and hurdles

Kevin Garnett's unique career proves anything is possible

Jose Fernandez joins tragic list of premature departures

15 greatest calls of Vin Scully's career

Ten NFL early-season studs and duds

Week 4 in college football as explained by Queen

The good, bad, and ugly from Week 3 in the NFL season

LeBron supports Kaepernick but will stand for national anthem

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 Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

What the NBA (and world) looked like before Kevin Garnett, Kobe Bryant and Tim Duncan

A fond farewell to Vin Scully

So where will the ACC football championship be played?

Kevin Garnett's unique NBA career proves anything is possible

Jose Fernandez joins tragic list of premature departures

Week 4 in college football as explained by Queen

The good, bad, and ugly from Week 3 in the NFL season

Where does Landon Donovan's return rank?

WATCH: What are the best WR-CB rivalries of all-time?

Bill Belichick may be forced to get hilariously creative to fill his quarterback slot

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