Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Bulls wing Denzel Valentine, who is scheduled to be sidelined for four to six months upon undergoing reconstructive ankle surgery, spoke to reporters this week about his injury, explaining that he’s thinking big picture in addressing his lingering left ankle issues.

When I come back, it’s going to be a brand new ankle,” Valentine said, per Joe Cowley of The Chicago Sun-Times. “I’ve been pretty much having ankle issues ever since my rookie year, so I mean, I think I’m going to be fine. I think I’m going to take my game to another level because I’m going to be more stable in my ankle. It will take a whole year, get my body right, which I haven’t been able to do since college, really. I’ve just been on the go, on the go, on the go, so it could be a blessing in disguise is how I have to look at it.”

It will be a long and painful road to recovery for Valentine, who likely won’t play at all during the 2018/19 season. However, he added that he’s “fully confident” that he’ll eventually get back to 100 percent, adding that he’s unsure if he’s ever actually been 100 percent healthy during his NBA career up until this point.

Here’s more from around the Central Division:

  • Pacers 2018 first-rounder Aaron Holiday was out of the rotation for the first month of the season, but he has been making his case for regular minutes lately, as Scott Agness of The Athletic writes. With Victor Oladipo sidelined this week, Holiday has averaged 14.0 PPG on .520/.400/.769 shooting in three games (20.1 MPG), which will make it hard to send him back to the bench when Oladipo returns.
  • Glenn Robinson III, a 39.3% three-point shooter during his three years with the Pacers, got off to a bit of a slow start with the Pistons. However, Robinson – who is shooting 33.3% from downtown so far this season – tells Chris McCosky of The Detroit News that he’s still confident he’ll be a good fit in Detroit once he gets fully up to speed after missing most of the 2017/18 season.
  • J.R. Smith will remain away from the Cavaliers while they try to trade him, and in the view of Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com, the club is better off without him. On Wednesday, we asked you what’s next for Smith.

This article first appeared on Hoops Rumors and was syndicated with permission.


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