DeMar DeRozan expects “day-to-day” recovery after leaving Monday night’s game against the Boston Celtics.
DeRozan hit the hardwood with 8:27 left in the third quarter, grimacing as he reached for his right leg. At the time, DeRozan argued emphatically with the officials, certain that he had been tripped by Boston’s Al Horford. After reviewing the footage, DeRozan acknowledged that what he thought was a foot was actually just the parquet floor.
The impact strained a lingering injury, forcing DeRozan to exit the game two minutes later at the 6:26 mark. DeRozan told reporters in Boston he has been harboring discomfort in his quad for eight games dating back to late December.
Although the flare-up forced him to leave his first game of the season — one the Bulls nearly won regardless on the back of a 15-point fourth quarter from Zach LaVine — DeRozan said he did not regret playing through the discomfort.
It’s rare for DeRozan to miss a game. He sat out only eight games last season, which encompassed two bouts with COVID-19 and a rest night on the regular-season finale to prepare for the playoffs. DeRozan takes pride in his durability, which has been a hallmark of his career — outside of a torn adductor in 2014 with the Toronto Raptors, he is always available for his team.
“If I leave out of a game, it’s something serious,” DeRozan said. “I play through a lot that I don’t mention. My whole career, I’ve been stubborn when it comes to that. I just want to always be on the floor.”
DeRozan told reporters he hopes to play against the Wizards in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday. The Bulls took an off day on Tuesday, which will allowed DeRozan additional time to recover ahead of the game.