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

Report: Young Bulls players 'can’t stand' Dwyane Wade

Which MLB contenders are in the best shape for a World Series run?

Dolphins unlikely to overcome Tannehill’s injury to compete in AFC East

Report: Kyrie Irving told Cavs he wouldn’t report to training camp

Rob Gronkowski has given up alcohol with new diet

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Browns looking to trade Osweiler, Colts potential destination

Frank Lester: Jon Jones’ positive steroid test is a ‘straight set up’

Jimbo Fisher calls suspension rule ‘absolutely ridiculous’

Top storyline for each Week 3 NFL preseason game

LeSean McCoy seemingly responds to trade rumors

Emmanuel Sanders involved in car accident on way to team facility

The 'Please just make it to the regular season' quiz

Coming through in the clutch takes on new meaning for Derek Jeter in Miami

The 'When the Doctor took the Big Apple by storm' quiz

BIG3 Referee Hotline: Calls routed from 1-900-MIX-A-LOT

The Indians are on a mission to make you pay attention whether you want to or not

15 college football coaches who are on the hot seat

Getaway Day: The playing field is leveling off as the wild-card chase takes shape

The 'Anquan Boldin calls it a career' quiz

Sports & Politics Intersect: Echoes of Charlottesville ripple across the sports world

BIG3 Playoff Preview: Can anyone stop Trilogy?

Why the SEC is not the best football conference anymore

Box Score 8/18: Reds and Cubs claw through a 23-run game

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.

The 'Please just make it to the regular season' quiz

Coming through in the clutch takes on new meaning for Derek Jeter in Miami

BIG3 Referee Hotline: Calls routed from 1-900-MIX-A-LOT

The 'When the Doctor took the Big Apple by storm' quiz

The Indians are on a mission to make you pay attention whether you want to or not

The 'Anquan Boldin calls it a career' quiz

Getaway Day: The playing field is leveling off as the wild-card chase takes shape

Sports & Politics Intersect: Echoes of Charlottesville ripple across the sports world

BIG3 Playoff Preview: Can anyone stop Trilogy?

The 'Bye bye to the Beast Incarnate?' quiz

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